Can Dogs Really Feel Your Pain?

Photo by: Library Dogs
In the Library
Trained therapy dogs can help kids feel more comfortable reading out loud and motivate students to read. Here, Library Dog Sunny follows along while a girl reads. ... more 
Photo by: Library Dogs
In the Library
Trained therapy dogs can help kids feel more comfortable reading out loud and motivate students to read. Here, Library Dog Sunny follows along while a girl reads.
Related: 7 ways to give back to your local animal shelter less 
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Fri, Sep 14, 2012 3:44 PM EDT
A study published this week in the journal Animal Cognition explores dogs' responses to "distressed" humans, and confirms what many of us know: dogs are comforting creatures. Even when presented with a stranger pretending to cry, dogs sniffed, nuzzled and licked the stranger. While it's not clear if the dogs "empathy-like" responses are evidence of an innate trait or conditioning (having been rewarded for that behavior in the past), researchers Deborah Custace and Jennifer Mayer posit that it may be a combination. Those who have worked with service and comfort dogs can attest to the patience and empathy dogs can show. Check out 7 places dogs can offer comfort! - By Joselyn Gray



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