Have you ever noticed that your dog may approach you when you are crying or upset?
This study suggests that dogs do know when you are down and in need of some love. Not only that, they move more quickly to you if you are in distress.
The research, published in the journal Learning & Behavior on Tuesday, showed how dogs moved faster, on average, to open a door to reach their owners when the person made crying noises than when he or she hummed the tune “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”
“It’s really cool for us to know that dogs are so sensitive to human emotional states,” said Emily Sanford, a graduate student in psychological and brain sciences at Johns Hopkins University who was a co-author of the study.
“It is interesting to think that all these anecdotes of dogs rescuing humans, they could be grounded in truth, and this study is a step toward understanding how those kinds of mechanisms work,” she said.