Can we pass the stress on to our dog?

30 June 2021|In Dog|2 Minutes
Possiamo trasmettere lo stress ai cani

According to a study conducted by Linköping University in Sweden, it is possible to transfer stress to your dog, easily influenced by the lifestyle of people the animal lives with. In fact, between a person who is chronically stressed and their dog, there is what scientists call the “interspecific synchronization”.


What is the index allowing to detect this type of phenomenon?

Cortisol is a hormone released in the body as a result of stressful events and it can accumulate both in the hair of dogs and in the hair of humans, as a result of a chronic stress prolonged over time. After numerous experiments on dogs and their human partners, it was proved that the cortisol levels in dogs always reflect those of their owners.

Dogs of owners with high cortisol levels, will in turn have high cortisol levels and vice versa.

Since cortisol can also increase as a result of physical activity, researchers had to exclude that there could be this interference, considering the degree of physical activity carried out by the animal: in fact, some of the dogs tested were pets while others habitually practised sports.

Finally, cortisol that is released as a result of physical activity was only found in the saliva and it does not accumulate in hair as in the case of chronic stress; therefore, the results of the study were not affected.

How do we influence our dog?

It is therefore clear that neurosis and mental openness of Man can significantly affect the dog, which reflects the degree of stress of the owner in a variable way. However, there is still to be investigated to understand the cause more accurately, including more breeds in the test to see if there may be significant differences based on the nature of the breed determined by dog selection.