Another study has proved it: Dogs can tell when you’re sad and want to make it better! The latest proof comes from the journal Learning and Behavior. They found that dogs not only understand when you’re upset, but also want to help.
The study was done on nearly 40 dogs and their owners. During the study, the owners sat behind a glass door with their dogs on the other side. The owners were told to say the word “Help!” every 15 seconds, either in a neutral tone of voice or a distressed tone of voice.
The dogs could see and hear their owners through the glass door, and could also reach them by nudging the door open with their noses. The researchers found that most of the dogs went through the door to be with their humans, no matter what. But when their owner sounded distressed, the dogs went through the door 40 seconds faster.
But even dogs that didn’t go through the door exhibited “stressful behaviors” when watching their owners act upset. The study author, psychology professor Julia Meyers-Manor says, the results show how dogs express empathy and have an instinct to comfort the humans they’re close to. But you already knew that, right?