The Science of Yawns, Dogs and Empathy

Swedish scientists show that dogs empathize with humans.
3:00 | 10/25/12

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Transcript for The Science of Yawns, Dogs and Empathy
And finally tonight, we know how contagious yawns can be among people. But ve you ever wondered if your dog is yawning because you did? Well, there's new research tonight that not only says yes, but tells us cats don't really bother. Abc's nick watt. Reporter: Darcy mcquiggin and little charlie are on their way to the park. She yawns and he yawns because he's feeling what she's feeling. He can tell if I'm in a sad mood. I'll get a little lick on the cheek or something like that. Reporter: When you yawn, your dog yawns. Swedish scientists, here they are at work, just proved that dogs actually empathize. And that's why they find human yawns contagious. Not just yawn, but they also took on the emotion that yawning usually signifies, which is usually sleepiness and thirdness. Reporter: And it works, well, 69% of the time. Yawning is also contagious between humans and chimpanzees, baboons, and budgerigars, but not between us and tortoises. Yep, someone actually looked into that. Oh, and cats couldn't care less if you're tired. But will a dog yawn more for its owner? Our swedish scientists say no. I say yes, because when i tried -- and when melissa, the owner tried -- there you go. Nick watt, abc news, los angeles.

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