When one person yawns, its not uncommon for someone else to follow suit. The same goes for laughing or smiling. This involuntary mimicry of another person is known as “emotional contagion,” and is thought to be evidence for a basic form of empathy, as one person is able to experience what another is feeling.
Now, it seems, dogsmay do this too as they have been found to involuntarily mimic other dogs while playing. The researchers claim that this gives further proof that dogs are very likely empathetic.
We know that dogs can and do mimic their owners, as shown when canines catch their human’s yawn. But the new research, published in Royal Society Open Science, has found that dogs do the same with other dogs in what the scientists think is an attempt at bonding.