Are Yawning Dogs Empathetic?

Apparently they are, according to research done by a psychologist at the University of London.  Dogs “caught” yawns from humans more often than did chimps and even humans.  The dogs were able to distinguish yawns, which they mimicked, from open mouth non-yawns, which they did not.

Since people who score highly on empathy tests are more likely to catch infectious yawns, and autistic children are not, it is surmised that dogs are able to show empathy.  That assessment is still speculative

http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=780254

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