A new study confirms what we all know: dogs are the best and they have a special bond with their owners, especially when these are feeling sad or distressed.
The study, published in the journal Learning and Behavior, analyzed 34 dogs and their owners, bringing them into a lab for some trials. Scientists separated owners from dogs and put them within eyesight of each other. Owners were told to yell “Help!” every 15 seconds, with either an unaffected or a distressed tone.
The recordings of the tests showed a pattern. Although most dogs were eager to return to their owner whenever they spoke, they tended to run towards them 40 seconds faster when the demand was distressed.
The sample size of the study is small, so conclusive evidence can’t be drawn, but this attentive behavior from dogs is quite common. Data demonstrates that most dogs are very attuned to their owner’s feelings, much more in tune to them than they are to the feelings of fellow dogs, giving them the chance to know when humans are depressed or sick. According to The Atlantic, dogs have a highly developed sense of smell and hearing, helping them notice changes in your moods and health that you might not even be aware of.
Your tone of voice or tears will attract your dog’s attention and make them more attentive of you. Maybe it’s because they love you unconditionally or because they find your behavior curious and want to understand it. It’s cute either way.