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How dogs know whenever their owners are sad

Dogs can tell whether their owner has had a bad day simply by looking at their face.

Dogs  can  tell  whether  their  owner  has  had  a  bad  day  simply  by  looking  at  their  face. They can tell the difference between a happy expression and a sad or angry one. Researchers  showed photos of men and women with one of six facial expressions  –  anger,  fear,  happiness,  sadness,  surprise,  disgust  –  as  well  as  a  neutral  look  to  26  dogs  at  feeding  time.  At  the  same  time  they  monitored  their heart rate.

The  findings  show  just  how  much  our  four-legged  friends  relate  to  the  emotions  of  their  human  owners. If  they  think  a  human face is showing  anger,  fear  or  happiness  they  turn  their  heads  to  the  left  but  if  they  recognise  a  look  of  surprise  they  turn  their  heads  to  the  right. The  heart  rate  of  dogs  also  goes  up  when  they  think  their  owner  is  unhappy,  according  to  the  study published  in  the  specialist  science  journal  Learning  &  Behaviour. The  pictures  depicting  anger,  fear  and  happiness  sparked  the  most  cardiac  activity –  suggesting  higher  levels  of  stress . The  dogs  also  took  longer  to  return  to  their  food  when  these  photos  were  shown  to  them. Though  the  test  involved  photos,  the  scientists  believe  voice,  smell  and  body  posture  also  act  as clues for  dogs  to  pick  up  on  human  emotions.

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