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When Reunited With Their Owners, Dogs Cry Happy Tears - Researchers Find


When you see a video of a reunited dog with its previous owner, you can't help but feel sentimental.

The researchers at Japan's Azabu University found evidence that dogs cry happy tears upon seeing their owner again after separation.

The researchers were looking at how 22 dogs shed tears in different situations.

Tears shed by either species may strengthen the tens of thousands of years of history between man and dog.

The study found dogs cry "significantly" more happy tears when reuniting with their owners than when meeting new people.

COPYRIGHT_SZ: Published on https://stationzilla.com/dogs-cry-happy-tears/ by Suleman Shah on 2022-08-26T05:31:23.713Z

On Monday, the findings appeared in the journal Current Biology.

Tear Production And Oxytocin

The researchers inserted a thin strip of paper under each dog's lower eyelid and recorded the distance tears went down the paper.

One study measured tear production before and after separating a dog and its owner for five to seven hours, using the before-separation reading as a baseline and the after-separation reading as a comparison.

As reported by CNN, Kikusui said that the reunited dogs' tear production increased by 10%.

The study also found that reunions with known owners made people cry more than reunions with known non-owners.

Researchers conducted a second study to see whether oxytocin, a hormone linked to emotional connection in humans and dogs, was the underlying cause of tear production.

Indeed, Gizmodo, Kikusui, and colleagues found in an article published in 2015 that social interaction increases oxytocin levels in both people and dogs.

According to the Guardian, new study findings show that putting oxytocin drops in a dog's eye causes the animal to produce more tears than when given a control solution.

What Are The Findings?

Takefumi Kikusui, a researcher at Azabu University, said in a press release,

We had never heard that animals cry when they are happy, like when they are reunited with their owners. We were all happy that this would be a world first.

Kikusui claims he was motivated to do the research after seeing his poodle cry while nursing her pups six years ago.

The participants were also asked to assess photographs of canine faces with and without tears.

Pictures of sad pets elicited more favorable reactions from viewers.

This data reveals that dogs cry in response to what we would perceive to be "pleasing" events.

Their tears "may have a role in evoking protective behavior or caring behavior from their owners, thus increasing reciprocal ties and ultimately leading to interspecies bonding," the research suggests.

In his opinion, "dogs have become a companion of people, and we may build ties," as Kikusui put it.

In this situation, the dog's owner may show more love for the dog if the dog looks at the owner with teary eyes when they talk.


No one looked into whether canines shed tears in reaction to happy or sad situations or when they were reunited with their canine friends.

The study's findings, including that dogs cry as a socially adaptive behavior to win affection from their masters, suggest that dogs have higher emotional intelligence than was previously believed.

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About The Authors

Suleman Shah

Suleman Shah - Suleman Shah is a researcher and freelance writer. As a researcher, he has worked with MNS University of Agriculture, Multan (Pakistan) and Texas A & M University (USA). He regularly writes science articles and blogs for science news website immersse.com and open access publishers OA Publishing London and Scientific Times. He loves to keep himself updated on scientific developments and convert these developments into everyday language to update the readers about the developments in the scientific era. His primary research focus is Plant sciences, and he contributed to this field by publishing his research in scientific journals and presenting his work at many Conferences. Shah graduated from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (Pakistan) and started his professional carrier with Jaffer Agro Services and later with the Agriculture Department of the Government of Pakistan. His research interest compelled and attracted him to proceed with his carrier in Plant sciences research. So, he started his Ph.D. in Soil Science at MNS University of Agriculture Multan (Pakistan). Later, he started working as a visiting scholar with Texas A&M University (USA). Shah’s experience with big Open Excess publishers like Springers, Frontiers, MDPI, etc., testified to his belief in Open Access as a barrier-removing mechanism between researchers and the readers of their research. Shah believes that Open Access is revolutionizing the publication process and benefitting research in all fields.

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