Dogs Can Feel Stress From Humans, Study Suggests
Dog owners experience long bouts of stress can Thursday, April 27, 2010 Published in Science Reports.
The Swedish researchers focused on 58 people who own border collies or Shetland sheepdogs.
Depression, excessive physical exercise and unemployment are just a Lina Roth of Linkoping University in Sweden.
Roth and her team found that the patterns of cortisol levels in the hair of dog owners were closely matched
The researchers do not know what causes the cortisol synchronization between humans and their pups.
The relationship between owners and competitive dogs during training may increase the canines' emotional reliance on their owners, she said. That in turn could increase the degree of synchronization.
But why do people use their dogs rather than vice versa? Perhaps they are "a more central part of the dog's life," he said in an email.
Alicia Buttner, Director of Animal Behavior with the Nebraska Humane Society in Omaha.
But she said there is not enough evidence to assume that the influence goes only one way;
"It's just as simple as owner gets stressed, dog gets stressed," she said.
Many other factors could affect one's or both's stress levels and, perhaps, they said
Buttner said cortisol levels do not necessarily indicate "bad" stress.
Roth and her team plan to investigate other dog breeds wants to react to their owners the same way may be given to their pets.
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