His master’s yawn | Science News



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His master’s yawn

Owner opens up, dog does too

6:59pm, August 5, 2008
It’s not just Frisbees and sticks. Dogs catch yawns from people, too.

Dogs watching a person yawn repeatedly will yawn themselves, says Atsushi Senju of Birkbeck, University of London. Just as that big jaw-stretch spreads contagiously from person to person, it spreads from person to dog, he and his colleagues report in an upcoming Biology Letters.

“It is contrary to what I've heard informally from a lot of dog owners who say they catch their dogs’ yawns, but their dogs never yawn when they do,” says psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr. of the State University of New York at Albany. The data are “pretty compelling” though, Gallup says of the new study. “If it can be replic

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