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Dogs yawn along with their masters: Japan researchers

Published on Aug 8, 2013 7:26 PM
 
A dog barks in a garden in Shepshed, central England on Tuesday, Aug 6, 2013. Tired dog lovers who think their pet pooch is yawning right along with them may just be right, according to a Japanese study. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (AFP) - Tired dog lovers who think their pet pooch is yawning right along with them may just be right, according to a Japanese study.

Dubbed "contagious yawning", the new research says man's best friend can sense human fatigue and, in a possible show of empathy, will join humans in a big yawn.

Canines yawn more often when it's their owner who's involved, added the study conducted by researchers at Tokyo and Kyoto universities, which was published in US science journal PLOS One this week.

"Our study suggests that contagious yawning in dogs is emotionally connected in a way similar to humans," said Dr Teresa Romero of the University of Tokyo who led the study.

 
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