The close bond between dogs and their owners has earned them the titleÂ ‘man’s best friend’, however the relationship between the two species is so close they can influence one another’s temperament.
According to a new study, happy owners tend to have the happiest dogs.Â Â
Scientists say the inverse is also true â with stressed owners less likely to spend time with their animal companions, causing them anxiety and stress.
These pets are also likely to be the most ill-behaved because stressed owners react badly to their dogs misdeeds and do not have the time needed to train them.Â
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Scientists have, perhaps unsurprisingly, discovered that happy owners tend to have happy dogs but stressed owners can pass this on to their pets (stock)
A study from Mexico looked at 76 dog owners, 36 of which said their pet had ‘separation-related behaviours’ and 40 who claimed their dog was well behaved âeven when they were out of the house.
The researchers looked at the relationship between pet and owner, then compared this with the behaviour exhibited by the animal.
‘Owners with higher levels of stress may not have a relaxed relationship with their dogs, which can contribute to their annoyance about their dogs’ behaviour, so they spend less time with them, increasing the anxiety in the dogs,’ the authors write in the study.Â
‘In turn, a dog’s behaviours may annoy the owner and may be a source of stress for him or her, which affects his or her perceived happiness.’
The study relied on self-reported data from the pet owners, with the participants judging whether their dog’s behaviour was brought about by separation anxiety.
These diagnoses were not formally made or verified by a vet.
Researchers looked at the relationship between pet and owner and compared this to the behaviour exhibited by the animal and found that owners with higher levels of stress may not have a relaxed relationship with their dogs (stock)
It is easy to believe that dogs like what we like, but this is not always strictly true.Â
Here are ten things which people should remember when trying to understand their pets, according toÂ Animal behaviour experts Dr Melissa Starling and Dr Paul McGreevy, from the University of Sydney.
1. Dogs don’t like to shareÂ
2. Not all dogs like to be hugged or pattedÂ
3. A barking dog is not always an aggressive dogÂ
4. Dogs do not like other dogs entering their territory/home
5. Dogs like to be active and don’t need as much relaxation time as humansÂ
6. Not all dogs are overly friendly, some are shyer to begin withÂ Â
7. A dog that appears friendly can soon become aggressiveÂ
8. Dogs need open space and new areas to explore. Playing in the garden won’t always sufficeÂ
9. Sometimes a dog isn’t misbehaving, it simply does not understand what to do or what you wantÂ
10. Subtle facial signals often preempt barking or snapping when a dog is unhappy
Canine misbehaviour can also be a myriad of reasons, including boredom, aggression, confinement frustration, or house-training issues.
The authors of this study categorised any evidence of the dogs destroying items, vocalising, trembling, or displaying restlessness as evidence of separation anxiety.
Dr Gonzalez-Ramirez, who led the study, claims dogs that do not exhibit separation-related behaviours were actually easier to train.
The pets who did display separation-related behaviours had a greater attachment to their owner.