If you think your dog looks stressed out, it might be your own stress levels that are affecting your pet pooch.
A study published on Thursday in Nature’s Scientific Reports shows pet dogs may synchronise their stress levels with those of their owners.
More than just being “man’s best friend”, it appears our pet dogs may be mirroring our mental state too, and that can be bad for their health.
It’s all in the hair
Swedish researchers studied 58 dogs – 33 Shetland Sheepdogs and 25 Border Collies – as well as their owners. The dogs selected were balanced for sex, breed and activity level.
Both dog and owner personality was assessed through standardised personality questionnaires, with owners filling out the Dog Personality Questionnaire on behalf of their pet.