Welcome to Cool Dog Science. We’re digging up our favorite funky dog facts and fascinating pup studies, marking them with our signature weirdness, and dropping them at your doorstep. This week's topic: What yawning has to do with your dog loving you.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably wondered if your dog loves you, listens to you, gets you. Maybe you've tested their love for you by… oh, I don’t know, maybe playing dead to see if your dog will come check on you. (No? Just me, then?)
Well, thanks to SCIENCE, you don’t have to orchestrate a three hour drama piece to test your pup’s love and level of empathy. All you need to do is…. yawn. No, we’re not kidding! Just yawn.
Research has shown that dogs are one of the only species, besides humans, that yawn contagiously. In other words, they yawn just because you’re yawning– and they’re most likely to yawn with the humans they’ve bonded with emotionally.
Wanna try this at home? We did! See the step-by-step below.
PLAY THE YAWN GAME AND SEE HOW YOU CONNECT WITH YOUR DOG:
1. Start the game sitting down, with your dog standing, sitting or lying down in front of you.
2. Get up in your dog’s face. Like really close up in there. You should be able to feel their warm, moist breath up on your face.
3. Be casual. Don't try to be obvious about the fact that you're conducting an experiment. If your dog wanders away, that’s fine. It’s not you, it’s them.
4. Yawn very loudly, every five seconds, in your dog’s face. You really have to get into it.
5. Finally, apologize to your dog for yawning in their face. This will help teach your dog the importance of being humble enough to admit mistakes.
From the above experiment one can deduce that the dog, Benji, and the subject, Wheaton, are not connected. I mean, Benji didn't yawn back once! Well, that's because he's not the subject's dog. He's Tazz's. Perhaps, you'll have better luck since it'll be your dog.
Let us know how it goes with your dog and if possible send us a picture or two!
Have you noticed your dog yawn when you do? Capture it on film and send us the evidence! We'd love to see it.