Dogs owners feeling long-term stress can transfer it to their dogs, science shows

  
Via:  perrie-halpern  •  3 weeks ago  •  14 comments

Dogs owners feeling long-term stress can transfer it to their dogs, science shows
New study is more evidence of the "incredibly close bond" between people and their dogs.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


By Associated Press

When dog owners go through a stressful period, they’re not alone in feeling the pressure — their dogs feel it too, a new study suggests.

Dog owners experiencing long bouts of stress can transfer it to their dogs, scientists report in a study published Thursday in Scientific Reports.

The Swedish researchers focused on 58 people who own border collies or Shetland sheepdogs. They examined hair from the dog owners and their dogs, looking at the concentrations of a hormone called cortisol, a chemical released into the bloodstream and absorbed by hair follicles in response to stress.

Depression, excessive physical exercise and unemployment are just a few examples of stress that can influence the amount of cortisol found in your hair, said Lina Roth of Linkoping University in Sweden.




Roth and her team found that the patterns of cortisol levels in the hair of dog owners closely matched that found in their dogs in both winter and summer months, indicating their stress levels were in sync.

She thinks the owners are influencing the dogs rather than the other way around because several human personality traits appear to affect canine cortisol levels.

The researchers don’t know what causes the synchronization in cortisol levels between humans and their pups. But a hint might lie in the fact that the link is stronger with competitive dogs than in pet pooches.

The bond formed between owner and competitive dogs during training may increase the canines’ emotional reliance on their owners, she said. That in turn could increase the degree of synchronization.

But why do people influence their dogs rather than vice versa? Perhaps people are “a more central part of the dog’s life, whereas we humans also have other social networks,” Roth said in an email.

The study results are no surprise, said Alicia Buttner, director of animal behavior with the Nebraska Humane Society in Omaha.

Roth and her team found that the patterns of cortisol levels in the hair of dog owners closely matched that found in their dogs in both winter and summer months, indicating their stress levels were in sync.

She thinks the owners are influencing the dogs rather than the other way around because several human personality traits appear to affect canine cortisol levels.

The researchers don’t know what causes the synchronization in cortisol levels between humans and their pups. But a hint might lie in the fact that the link is stronger with competitive dogs than in pet pooches.

The bond formed between owner and competitive dogs during training may increase the canines’ emotional reliance on their owners, she said. That in turn could increase the degree of synchronization.

But why do people influence their dogs rather than vice versa? Perhaps people are “a more central part of the dog’s life, whereas we humans also have other social networks,” Roth said in an email.

The study results are no surprise, said Alicia Buttner, director of animal behavior with the Nebraska Humane Society in Omaha.

“New evidence is continually emerging, showing that people and their dogs have incredibly close bonds that resemble the ones that parents share with their children,” she said in an email.

But she said there isn’t enough evidence to assume that the influence goes only one way; it may go both ways.

“It’s not just as simple as owner gets stressed, dog gets stressed,” she said.

Many other factors could affect a person or dog’s stress levels and possibly even dampen them, she said.

Buttner said cortisol levels don’t necessarily indicate “bad” stress. They instead can indicate a good experience like getting ready to go for a walk, she said.

Roth and her team plan to investigate whether other dog breeds will react to their owners the same way.

In the meantime, she offered advice to minimize how much stress dog owners may be causing their pets. Dogs that play more show fewer signs of being stressed, she said.

So “just be with your dog and have fun,” Roth said.

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Perrie Halpern R.A.
1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    3 weeks ago

Do you think that your dogs are in sync with your feelings? If so how?

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
1.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1    3 weeks ago

Oh, yeah. When Mr Giggles and I were going thru a rough period, Buster the Beagle sensed it and stayed by my side as much as he could.

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
1.2  The Magic Eight Ball  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1    3 weeks ago

Do you think that your dogs are in sync with your feelings? If so how?

of course.

bill burr explains it best

 
 
 
Dulay
2  Dulay    3 weeks ago

Well I know that my dog thinks that I am in sink with her feelings because I am her personal human thunder shirt. 

My bff Maggie that passed years ago was very in tune with my feelings and would nudge me into feeling better all of the time. Once she put her head in my lap, I would embrace her empathy and any stress I was feeling would melt away. 

 
 
 
Ender
2.1  Ender  replied to  Dulay @2    3 weeks ago

My little meth/crack dog is terrified of thunder. She shakes uncontrollably.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
2.1.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Ender @2.1    3 weeks ago

When Buster got all scared of thunder, he would crawl up beside me. I laid a cat on top of him once and it seemed to calm him down.

The cat wasn't too happy but Tasha lets me do what I want

 
 
 
Ender
2.1.2  Ender  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.1.1    3 weeks ago

Haha. I tried those thunder jacket things, holding her, etc. Nothing seems to help.

Have to wait until it's over.

 
 
 
luther28
3  luther28    3 weeks ago

Sadie knows more about me and my peccadillos than most humans do, She also has more common sense than most humans I know.

 
 
 
Kavika
4  Kavika     3 weeks ago

Wiki Warrior Wonder Wiener knows when I'm angry, happy or down and acts accordingly. 

Of course dogs are in sink with out feelings, there dogs for goodness sake. 

Tried-To-Sleep-In-My-Bed.jpg

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
4.1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Kavika @4    3 weeks ago

Wally says the same thing.

 
 
 
Badfish H҉a҉n҉d҉ ҉o҉f҉ ҉D҉o҉o҉m҉
5  Badfish H҉a҉n҉d҉ ҉o҉f҉ ҉D҉o҉o҉m҉    3 weeks ago

First sing of conflict in the house, my female shepherd scurries up stairs to her kennel. If the two boys start arguing aggressively, my male shepherd intervenes with force. 

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
6  Trout Giggles    3 weeks ago

I think owners can transfer their stress onto their cats, too.

 
 
 
Ender
7  Ender    3 weeks ago

I have seen cases where if a person is scared their dog will act scared and more aggressive.

 
 
 
Kavika
8  Kavika     3 weeks ago
I have seen cases where if a person is scared their dog will act scared and more aggressive.

You can see here how vicious they can become....

65a2d4f29414e548d890fda8f635c4ec--lol-fu

 
 
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