Although the majority of dog owners will identify their pet’s wagging tail being a sign of happiness, they might likewise want to give more focus to their animal’s face the the very next time they stroll inside through the front door.
Animal behavior specialists have discovered the animals’ emotions are betrayed by particular facial movements that could show whether your dog genuinely is delighted to see you.
Making use of high-speed cameras, the scientists monitored the modifications in the faces of dogs in the occasions they were reunited with their owners or whenever meeting an unfamiliar person for the very first time.
They discovered that the dogs tended to move their left eyebrow up-wards close to half a second right after looking at their owner.
Whenever the dogs were introduced to a person they had never met previously, they moved their left ear back a bit.
In case they were presented with a thing they did not like, for example a pair of nail clippers, the dogs moved their right ear instead.
Dr. Miho Nagasawa, from the department of animal science at Azabu University in Sagamihara, Japan, explained: “It is difficult to explain this difference in movement between the ears and eyebrows. “Dogs’ ears are notable features utilized to show emotional expression, therefore our results suggest that dogs were more cautious toward unfamiliar people.
“In contrast, eyebrow movement might indicate a visible response whereby dogs attempted to look at their owners more intently.”
The scientists, whose research is published in the journal Behavioural Processes, located 12 dogs in a room separated by a partition with a few black curtains that opened up quickly to all the dogs to glimpse what was on the other side.
Coloured tags were put on the dog’s faces to enable a high speed camera to accurately monitor the motion of their features.
When the curtain opened up, their owner, a stranger, a toy or a specific thing they didn’t like was on the other side, letting the scientists to capture their reaction.
They discovered that the dogs moved their eyebrows up-wards anytime they noticed somebody behind the screen, but much more when it was their owner, specifically on the left side.
The scientists suggest the slight changes on different sides of their face are a reflection of activity in crucial parts of the brain that manage emotions.
They likewise state it could because the animals were going through conflicted emotions – happiness at seeing their owner but despair at not being capable to reach them through the partition.
Dr Nagasawa said: “One explanation for this result is that presentation of the owner elicited both negative and positive emotions.
“A negative response might appear … perhaps because the dogs could not approach and touch their owners despite seeing them through the partitions.”
The conclusions come after psychologists carried out research previously this year that demonstrated how many owners are capable to identify a variety of emotions in the facial expressions of their pets.
Dr Tina Bloom, from Walden University in Minneapolis, Minn. discovered that even individuals with marginal experience with dogs could identify happy, sad, surprised and frightened expressions .
Her conclusions have suggested that human beings have developed a natural sympathy with dogs after evolving alongside for thousands of years.
Dogs have as well been found to be skilled at reading emotions in human faces and responding to them.
Dr Nagasawa added: “Ownership is a significant social factor for dogs. This suggests that human-dog bonding relationships have a biological basis.
“Canids are highly social and communicate using an abundant array of facial expressions.
“These communication methods might play an important role in their communication with humans.”
Source: Business Insider