Thomas Ramey Watson

Comforting distressed humans may be hardwired in dogs’ brains

The latest research, published in the journal Animal Cognition, found that pet dogs may truly be man (or woman’s) best friend if a person is in distress. That distressed individual does not even have to be someone the dog knows.

“I think there is good reason to suspect dogs would be more sensitive to human emotion than other species,” co-author Deborah Custance told Discovery News. “We have domesticated dogs over a long period of time. We have selectively bred them to act as our companions.”

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“Thus,” she added,” those dogs that responded sensitively to our emotional cues may have been the individuals that we would be more likely to keep as pets and breed from.”

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