If you live in a small apartment, your work is in an infinite loop, and you are looking for something from your neighbors. In addition to taking care of your emotions, you need to pay attention to the state of your dog at home.
In a study of how dog owners dispel their emotions, scientists found that pets in the home could not ignore the owner’s anxiety, but would map the level of stress the owner was exposed to.
The data for this study comes from a study of the stress hormone, cortisol, which enters the bloodstream and leaves a mark in the hair. Over time, cortisol enters the growing hair and becomes a personal biologic record of stress levels.
After studying 25 Border Collies and 33 Shetland Sheepdogs and their female owners, scientists from Sweden found that if the cortisol levels in the owner’s hair were higher, the cortisol levels in the dog hair would also Correspondingly higher. All the dogs involved in the study lived indoors with the owner.
Lina Roth, an animal behavioralist from Linköping University in Sweden, is the leader of the study. He said: “This is the first time researchers have discovered the long-term synchronization of two completely different species, humans and dogs, at stress levels. Before, we did not find this connection between people and dogs.”
In the winter and summer of 2017 and 2018, Roth’s research team cut hair and hair close to the skin from people and dogs and tested the concentration of cortisol. Overall, the correlation between cortisol levels in humans and dogs remains stable, but cortisol in dogs is higher in winter.
In order to investigate whether dog lifestyles have an impact on their hormonal levels, half of the dogs involved in volunteer research have regularly participated in training and competition on obedience and agility. Other dogs are ordinary pets.
In the study, the researchers described how cortisol levels in dogs who participated in the competition more closely reflected the owner’s cortisol levels. This may be because the competition dog has established a closer relationship with the owner than the average pet dog.
Roth believes that it is better to say that the dog and the owner have synchronized pressure levels because they enjoy the same environment. However, when the researchers look at whether the dog has garden play, whether the dog owner’s working hours and whether the dog lives with other companions, etc., will not affect the dog’s stress level, the answer is no.
According to the standardization survey, in fact, it is the character of the owner who can really determine the stress level of the animal. The most influential factor is the emotional stability of the owner.
According to the study, the more stable the mood of the owner, the lower the cortisol level in the pet. One of the reasons, says Roth, is that the more stable the mood, the more comfort the owner can get in the pet. The owner’s care and embrace offensive can reduce cortisol levels in the dog. Scientists wrote in a published paper that “we found that dogs largely reflect the pressure of the owner.”
If these research data are embarrassing to pass the pressure on the dog’s owners, Roth’s words may comfort you: “Most dog owners know that dogs can actually receive the signals they send, even if the signal is not It’s fine to send it deliberately. But it’s always good to stay together.”
Although the relevant parties claim that this study is the first study to illustrate the long-term mapping of stress levels among different species, in past studies, scientists have concluded that in the same species, stress will be contagious in the short term. . In 2016, James Burkett of Emory University in Atlanta said that in the prairie, the voles practice monogamy. If one of the spouses feels pressure, then the other’s stress index will climb.
Although Burkett did not participate in the latest research, he believes that the expansion of the research volume indicates that the dog and his master have the ability to empathize.
He said: “The dog is easily affected by the mood of the owner’s depression and makes a comforting move.”
“Now, we understand that dogs are also affected by the personality and stress levels of the owner. Although this may be common sense for dog owners, this empirical study confirms that our intuition about animal empathy is correct. ”