According to research from Lund University, puppies, like human children, don’t pick up on the contagious yawn.   It has been found that like humans, baboons, and chimpanzees, dogs pick up this ability as a form of empathy.  Yawning as a contagious social cue has been explained as a form of empathy, or mirroring ones display of emotions, that is developed through aging processes.  Much research has gone into human children’s development, but this is the first time it has been intensively looked at in another species.  What this study showed was a similar gradual development of the susceptibility to the contagious yawn. What was interesting is that in primates and humans alike, yawning contagiousness increased when paired with others that were more familiar.

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