Scientists have confirmed what many of us already knew: dogs really do reflect their owners’ personalities.
A new study suggests that negative vibes can be passed on to dogs – but it’s not a one way street.
While humans are the more influential partner, relaxed and friendly dogs can also help their owners destress.
The study involved more than one hundred dogs and their owners, whose heart rates and response to threat were tested. Researchers even tested cortisol levels in saliva, an indicator of stress, and took personality tests.
They found that dogs are sensitive to emotional information and can use it to refine their behaviour.
Dr Iris Schoberl, of the University of Vienna, told the BBC: “Our results nicely fit to experience from practice: owners and dogs are social dyads [a group of two], and they influence each other’s stress coping,”
Dog owners might be surprised to find that despite their levels of perception, canines are not necessarily any smarter than their feline counterparts.
A study at Kyoto University revealed last month that cats are just as able as dogs at recalling events, one of the cornerstone’s of consciousness.