Study: Dogs Really Will Rush To Help Their Owners When They Cry

Dogs truly love their people, and they really do want to help their owners when they cry. Johns Hopkins University researchers put 34 dogs in a room next to their owners, who were trapped behind a transparent door. The human participants were told to either hum “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or to cry. Researchers discovered that dogs with a strong bond (who spend more time looking at their owners) are three times faster to run to their side if they appear to be crying. Dogs pushed open the magnetized door in front of crying owners in an average of 23 seconds, while they waited an average of about 96 seconds to open the doors of owners who hummed the song. The scientists write, “Dogs have been by the side of humans for tens of thousands of years and they’ve learned to read our social cues. Dog owners can tell that their dogs sense their feelings. Our findings reinforce the idea, and show that, like Lassie, dogs who know their people are in trouble might spring into action.”