Empathic-like responding by domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) to distress in humans: an exploratory study

  title={Empathic-like responding by domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) to distress in humans: an exploratory study},
  author={Deborah M. Custance and Jennifer L. Mayer},
  journal={Animal Cognition},
Empathy covers a range of phenomena from cognitive empathy involving metarepresentation to emotional contagion stemming from automatically triggered reflexes. An experimental protocol first used with human infants was adapted to investigate empathy in domestic dogs. Dogs oriented toward their owner or a stranger more often when the person was pretending to cry than when they were talking or humming. Observers, unaware of experimental hypotheses and the condition under which dogs were responding… 
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