LIFE SCIENCE

Reunited with the owner, the dog will cry with joy


Courtesy of the author

There is clearly a special emotional bond between the dog and the owner. But are dogs, like humans, like humans, crying when emotions are overflowing? This is indeed the case.

A new study shows that dogs often burst into tears when reunited with their owners. The authors say this is the first study to look at related issues. The study was published in Contemporary Biology on August 22.

“We found that dogs shed tears because of positive emotions.” Takefumi Kikusui of Azabu University in Japan said, “We also found that oxytocin may be one of these mechanisms of action. ”

Kikusui and colleagues found that one of the two poodles, after giving birth to a puppy 6 years ago, had a change in the female dog’s face when feeding the puppy — tears in her eyes. These tears don’t fall as often as humans do, but they do exist.

Kikusui said: “It made me think that oxytocin might increase tears. He explains that oxytocin is a “love hormone.” The researchers also learned from early observations that both dogs and owners release oxytocin when they interact. So they decided to conduct experiments to see if the chemical could make dogs cry.

First, the researchers used a standard test to measure the amount of tears the dogs had before and after they were reunited with their owners. They found that when reuniting with familiar people, the amount of tears in dogs did increase compared to reunions with unfamiliar people.

When the researchers added oxytocin to the dogs’ eyes, their tear volume also increased. The finding supports the idea that when dogs reunite with their owners, the release of oxytocin plays a role in the production of tears.

The researchers also asked people to rate photos of dogs, and found that people responded more positively when they saw dogs crying. These findings suggest that dog tears help strengthen the connection between humans and dogs.

Kikusui said the finding was surprising. “We’ve never heard of animals shedding tears in happy situations, such as when reunited with their owners. We’re excited to discover this for the first time in the world. ”

Although, dogs seem to cry when they are “happy”, do dogs also cry when they are sad? In addition, the researchers did not know whether the dogs would shed tears when reunited with other dogs. They also want to know if this response has a social function in the dog’s world.

“Dogs have become human partners and we can make connections.” Kikusui said, “In this process, dogs that weep during interactions with their owners are likely to be more cared for by their owners.” (Source: China Science Daily Feng Weiwei)

Related paper information:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2022.07.031



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