Swedish scientists have shown that dogs mirror our stress levels…
Swedish scientists have shown that dogs mirror our stress levels.
They measured the level of the stress hormone cortisol in hair and the link between dogs and humans held throughout the year.
It was also mirrored in whatever circumstances dog and owner lived eg hours the owner worked, other dogs in the household, garden or not.
Dogs who most closely mirrored their owners were those who regularly trained or competed in agility or obedience competitions. This was believed to be because the dogs had formed a closer bond with their owners.
However, one thing that did have an effect on dog’s stress levels was their owner’s personalities – with the largest factor being neuroticism.
This didn’t quite play out how I expected…
The more neurotic the owner (as assessed by a survey) the lower the levels of the dog’s stress – shown by the cortisol in the hair.
Lina Roth who led the study suggested this was likely because those owners were more likely to comfort themselves with hugs and attention for their dogs thereby soothing and de-stressing their dogs.
Therefore – if in doubt hug it out!
Here’s the link to the full article, enjoy…