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This was fascinating. I always thought of dogs (and young children) as psychic sponges and it's nice to read a study that concludes this.

...A new study followed dogs and their owners over the course of months to see how stress hormones in both animal and human changed over time.

The results suggest that dogs may be quite sensitive to human stress. "If the owner is stressed, then the dog is also likely to mirror that stress,"...

The researchers then took hair samples from the dogs and their owners to test for the stress-related hormone cortisol.

"Cortisol is incorporated in hair as it grows, so we get kind of a retrospective of our cortisol secretions," Roth explains.

They found that dog cortisol levels seemed to mirror the personality traits of their owners...
The thing I wonder about is when you have two dogs. Bella is extremely sensitive and responsive to my mood. If I'm sad about something, she knows it. She's a lap dog anyway, but when this happens, she's the one reaching out to me to give me the extra cuddles. If I come home annoyed or worried about something, she's more active - and will be more sensitive to outside noises and guarding the front door.

Sachii, on the other hand, who is still a puppy at 10 months old, is always laid back and chill.
 

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Vita, that's a really good question about the different responses of your two. The study was a really small sampling and I don't think it addressed multiple dogs in a home.

I hope they carry these studies further. I liked the possibilities of this:

"Rosemary Strasser, a behavioral neuroendocrinologist at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, who has studied connections between dogs and humans, says the new research is exciting and that it raises further questions about how dogs and humans influence each other emotionally.
One big question: Could dogs also influence human stress levels over time? "Especially with dogs being used as service or support dogs for individuals," Strasser says, "if you place a confident, outgoing dog in a home, how does it influence the personality of that owner? Is it always one-directional? That would be a very interesting further extension of this." "

There were also some interesting comments re the relationship of owners and a strengthened bond with their dogs thru training and competing.

The Force is Strong in these ones :).
 
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Yes. There was a sleep study with dogs last year, can't recall where I read it or the results, but with mine, waking up and going to bed are playtime for the first 10 minutes. In the morning it's tug of war with my socks. Evening is for fetch; even if my energy is low they'll get me in the mood and before you know it, I'm laughing.

Night time is for wrestling and laughing at them as they hop around on my bed. It sounds like cuteness overload, but I never tire of it; their antics is a perfect start and ending for my day. When I pull the blanket over my head, surprisingly they are able to settle down right away and go to sleep. It took a month to train Sachii use his off switch and do this b/c he'd have played half the night, but he quickly got used to the routine, and thankfully he was unable to jump off the bed like a bigger pup might have done and kept playing.

Neurologically, I figure the play and happy moments like these have got to be stress reducers and good for all of us.
 

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Given our coevolutionary history with dogs this doesn't surprise me but it is wonderful to see some data and objective evidence for what nearly all dog owners know intuitively about the strengths and benefits of the bonds we have with our dogs.


As a side note I had a conversation with one of my friends who comes to my novice class and rally run thrus. She has had a CD and a CDX with previous dogs along with several MAChs. These days she had been much more focused on agility, but since she has had knee surgeries and her current dog had a soft tissue injury in her groin she has taken up rally competitively (always came to obedience for the basics of things like impulse control and such). In under a year (with a knee replacement along the way) she has gotten RN and RI and has two legs towards RA. She is a happy cheerleader for her girl and judges clearly find her to be doing a great job since most of her scores have been in the upper 90s. In our discussion last Friday she was talking about how she likes rally since she can talk to her dog and that the rules about not "cheerleading" and given extra orders in obedience is off putting to her and that she thinks it does not encourage a positive relationship with the dog. I do take her point, but also think that in the deeper more advanced levels of obedience the demonstration of your relationship is through very subtle levels of communication that don't require a lot of words from handlers. The dog has to have total trust in the handler to lead the dance and the handler has to know they have taught all of the parts of these games well enough that the dog wants truly to be their dance partner. It isn't that obedience discourages communication with your dog but rather that it compels the handler to make the communication and bond with the dog transformative for both the dog and the human. I have that relationship with Lily to a great extent, but since I am now a much better handler and am getting better coaching I can see that the future of this transforming connection with Javelin in every aspect of our time together will be unlike anything I've ever experienced before in my life.
 

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Given our coevolutionary history with dogs this doesn't surprise me but it is wonderful to see some data and objective evidence for what nearly all dog owners know intuitively about the strengths and benefits of the bonds we have with our dogs.


As a side note I had a conversation with one of my friends who comes to my novice class and rally run thrus. She has had a CD and a CDX with previous dogs along with several MAChs. These days she had been much more focused on agility, but since she has had knee surgeries and her current dog had a soft tissue injury in her groin she has taken up rally competitively (always came to obedience for the basics of things like impulse control and such). In under a year (with a knee replacement along the way) she has gotten RN and RI and has two legs towards RA. She is a happy cheerleader for her girl and judges clearly find her to be doing a great job since most of her scores have been in the upper 90s. In our discussion last Friday she was talking about how she likes rally since she can talk to her dog and that the rules about not "cheerleading" and given extra orders in obedience is off putting to her and that she thinks it does not encourage a positive relationship with the dog. I do take her point, but also think that in the deeper more advanced levels of obedience the demonstration of your relationship is through very subtle levels of communication that don't require a lot of words from handlers. The dog has to have total trust in the handler to lead the dance and the handler has to know they have taught all of the parts of these games well enough that the dog wants truly to be their dance partner. It isn't that obedience discourages communication with your dog but rather that it compels the handler to make the communication and bond with the dog transformative for both the dog and the human. I have that relationship with Lily to a great extent, but since I am now a much better handler and am getting better coaching I can see that the future of this transforming connection with Javelin in every aspect of our time together will be unlike anything I've ever experienced before in my life.
Your comments regarding communication and the bond sent me looking for more information about the nature of the bond between humans and dogs. We don't have language in common so non-verbal understanding has to be at the top of the list.

I found another study looking at Secure Base Effect

https://www.vetmeduni.ac.at/en/info...13/press-release-06-21-2013-mans-best-friend/

The study provides the first evidence for the similarity between the “secure base effect” found in dog-owner and child-caregiver relationships. This striking parallel will be further investigated in direct comparative studies on dogs and children. As Horn says, “One of the things that really surprised us is, that adult dogs behave towards their caregivers like human children do. It will be really interesting to try to find out how this behaviour evolved in the dogs with direct comparisons.“

It's no wonder so many of us feel like parents to our dogs. They look to us the same way children do to their parents. What a fascinating and wonderful relationship we humans have with our dogs!
 

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It's interesting to have scientists researching our relationships with our dogs. Will an outgoing dog encourage a shy owner into being more outgoing? The answer for me is, yes. Disability shrank my world. It made me less sure of myself, afraid of getting into a situation I couldn't handle on my own. Chemotherapy related cognitive disfunction changed how my brain responds to stress. I freeze and cannot think clearly because chemo pickled my brain.

When I was taking IV high dose chemotherapy, I got lost three blocks from my house and couldn't remember how to get home. None of the houses looked familiar. I knew that I should know, which made me even more stressed. I was in a void and it was terrifying. I told Honey, "Take me home." A cue I'd never said before. Honey lead me straight home.

Fear of that happening again shrank my world. Years after that happened, I didn't go new places. I didn't explore on my own. I lost trust in myself. Enter Noelle. The main reason I started training at my AKC training club was because Noelle was a wild child. I had no intention of showing her in obedience or rally. But, she was difficult for me to control, so we went to class. A year later, we showed in rally. We've showed non-stop ever since.

I've driven to Rockford, Illinois on my own. I've driven to Davenport, Iowa on my own. I'm driving to Ixonia, Wisconsin on my own. My world is expanding because of showing Noelle. I'm more confident and less unsure of myself as a result. I can do things. I can go away and come back safely. My confidence is going down the leash into Noelle, making her a more confident dog. Which loops right back into me.
 

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It is indeed something we all probably know but then the studies come along and verify it. Interesting. My dogs are probably doomed. I am quite the nervous person. But they don't act nervous especially...Maurice maybe. He is much more reactive toward strange noises outside than Matisse. I am not nervous about that sort of thing. They're both very sociable, just like I am and very playful and silly, like me. lol. But over all, they're pretty relaxed dogs for some reason. It does stand to reason that we pick up feelings and emotions from one another just as we do with our human family. And then there are the genes. I feel like I gave birth to my poodles. Haha.:act-up:
 
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