Sierra Magazine: Explore, enjoy and protect the planet.
Do Dogs React to Tears? - Explore

« Follow that Turtle: 3 Tools to Track Marine Life | Main | 5 Real-Life Deep-Sea Monsters »


Do Dogs React to Tears?

Your pooch isn't psychic, but he'll come running if you cry.

The jury's out on whether your dog can understand your rants and confessions, but researchers at the University of London Department of Psychology have found that dogs do react to tears according to a LiveScience report

In the experiment published in Animal Journal, researcher Jennifer Mayer visited the subjects in their homes. She and each dog owner took turns talking, pretending to cry, and humming. She and her colleague, Deborah Custance, repeated this method with 18 owners. They found that dogs were much more likely to approach the person crying, whether it was Mayer or the owner.

The study certainly complicates our understanding of human-animal relationships. We have to wonder what other domestic animals and even wildlife can connect on some level to human emotions. While the researchers hesitate to conclude that dogs feel empathy or understand emotions, anyone whose spent a significant amount of time with a dog (or on YouTube) probably has something else to say. Wait to form your opinion until after watching this video (below) of a hilarious hound comforting a crying baby.  

Read More:

Injured Florida Panther Kitten in Rehab

Conservation Filmmaker Tracks Elusive Spirit Bear

5 Real-Life Deep-Sea Monsters

--by Krislyn Placide / Image by iStockphoto/cynoclub

KrislynKrislyn Placide is an editorial intern at Sierra going into her fourth year of journalism school at Northwestern University. When she's not updating the blog, she likes running through parks and eating her weight in watermelon.

User comments or postings reflect the opinions of the responsible contributor only, and do not reflect the viewpoint of the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of any posting. The Sierra Club accepts no obligation to review every posting, but reserves the right (but not the obligation) to delete postings that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate.

Up to Top