News: You're Making Your Dog Yawn

by Lexi Petronis, Glamour

Um, there's a pretty big chance that reading this news is going to make you yawn. And your dog, too.

Everyone knows yawning is contagious: just watching someone yawn makes us do it, too (and, apparently, writing about yawning makes you yawn as well; I'm on my sixth yawn already! Let's get some research on this!). That's because we're empathetic beings--when someone yawns, yawning in return is our way of trying to understand and connect with that person's emotional state.

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And now, researchers from Lund University have discovered that dogs catch contagious yawns, too. Not yawns from other dogs--yawns from us! An earlier study found that even the sound of a person yawning can make a dog yawn, and not just any person--dogs are way more susceptible to catching their owners' yawns than they are strangers' yawns.

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What about other pets? Well, there's no real research on the topic yet--but I suspect that cats can't yawn when we do, because they're already caught up on sleep from their 17 hours of snoozing a day. Or maybe that's just my cat.

Have you ever noticed your dog yawning when you do? If you're trying this out right now out of curiosity: please report back!

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