New study pinpoints why dogs are good at sensing emotions: show basic signs of empathy.

New research has found that dogs can mimic the expressions of people and other dogs, and show basic signs of empathy.

They are known as ‘man’s best friend’, and new research from Italy is attempting to prove that statement has more scientific evidence to support it than we might think.

According to a study by the Royal Society Open Science, dogs can instantly mimic each other’s facial expressions, as well as that of their owners and other humans they interact with.

As part of the research, 49 dogs were filmed playing in a dog park – with their playful behaviour noted in various forms: such as when a dog keeps its mouth open and relaxed, or when it crouches on its front legs and wags its tail.