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Last Updated: Wednesday August 06 2008 12:26 GMT

Scientists say dogs catch yawns

Dog yawning

You've probably noticed that when you yawn your mates start yawning too, but have you ever caught your DOG at it?

It might sound silly, but scientists in London say they've found that pet pooches can catch yawns from people.

People usually yawn when they're tired or really stressed, but nobody knows for sure why they're catching.

Dogs have lived alongside humans for 15,000 years, and the researchers think that over time they have become able to sense human feelings.

Dogs quiz
A Chinese crested dog


Scientists from Birkbeck College, University of London, tested out 29 dogs, and found that 21 of them yawned when a stranger in front of them yawned.

Dr Atsushi Senju said: "Dogs have a very special capacity to read human communication. They respond when we point and when we signal."