When your dog or cat acts aggressively or fearfully, many pet parents are quick to come up with a conclusion. Their reasoning is that their pets are stressed out or just behave badly on purpose. However, the recent study reveals that your stress level may affect your pet. To find out more about the topic, veterinarians from Eastshore Vet, the pet wellness center in Branford, offer the following explanation.
A study published in the Journal of Scientific Reports on June 6th this year, discovered that the cortisol level in dogs’ and their owners’ hair match each other. To get the results, scientists examine 33 Shetland Sheepdogs and 25 Border Collies together with their owners. After studying their behavior and chemistry, they come up with measurements.
These results indicate that dog owners, who feel under the pressure may make their dogs aggressive and anxious. Even though scientists didn’t get explicit proof that dog owners under stress cause their furry friend to feel anxious, they firmly believe it is one-way street. They have noticed the same personal traits of the owners whose dogs have high cortisol level. It seems that irritable and nervous people usually breed irritable and nervous dogs.
To explain this interesting phenomenon, scientists focuses on the strong relationship between dogs and their owners. This special bond dated some 15,000 years ago and required a lot of effort and smart survival strategies to make it work. During that time, dogs have learnt to adjust their behavior to an owner’s mood and emotional condition. To get in synch, they simply started mirroring their behavior.
Furthermore, scientists have found that cortisol level in female dogs and dogs, who receive the most intensive training, more precisely reflects the one of their pet parents. The reason is similar—female dogs are more emotionally attached to their owners. In like manner, dogs on intensive training program spend much of their time in activities with their owners and bond more closely.
Even though a majority of canine experts believe that physical activity, an outdoor time, and lots of walk are essential to reduce stress in dogs, scientists haven’t found the evidence for that. The most important factor that predict mischievous behavior in your dog might be, in fact, your stress level.