When we have a dog and we are away from home, we know that when we return, he will be waiting for us with visible signs of joy. For example, it may jump up and down, bark in a special way, wag its tail frantically and other similar behaviors. But, if you’ve ever seen him with a watery gleam in his eye, you should know that your dog may be crying with joy at the reunion.
Recent research conducted in Japan revealed that canine pets can produce tears, i.e. cry tears of joy. The study, published in a journal, clarified that tears in dogs could be linked to increases in so-called love hormones. Specifically, the increased presence of oxytocin seems to be related to the wetness in the eyes of the dogs during the reunion with their masters.
Crying for joy
One of the authors of the research said that dogs can shed tears when they experience positive emotions. At the same time, the researchers commented that this is the first study that is able to demonstrate this fact. In addition, the research revealed the role of oxytocin in tear secretion.
The findings of the team of researchers were the result of a study of the volume of tears in the eyes of about 18 dogs. The dogs were separated from their owners for five to seven hours. During the reunion, the researchers measured the dogs’ tears and found a significant increase. They also noted that this effect did not occur in a reunion with another person familiar to the dog but who was not its owner.
Another aspect of the research is that moisture in dogs’ eyes generates positive emotions in humans. What remains to be studied is whether dogs use this as a social tool among themselves. That is, if when they meet their peers again after a certain period of time, they are also able to cry or is it something they only keep to relate to humans.
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