Behind Watery Eyes: Is Your Pet Happy to See You?

Dog owners love to describe their pets as having emotions just like a person.

The dogs love the owners, smile at them, tease them, etc.

But do the dogs actually cry with joy when seeing their owners?

That’s the finding of research reported this week in a small study in the journal destilasi Current Biology. Dogs produce more tears when reunited with their owners than with other humans, the study says.

If true, “it would be the first evidence that emotions cause tears not just in dogs, but in any nonhuman animals,” according to the The New York Times.

Scientists not involved in the research remain skeptical.

“If we accept the evidence of this paper, this is one of the most stunning discoveries in animal expression of emotions of all time,” said Clive Wynne, a canine behavior specialist at Arizona State University, in the Times. But, he added, “it would take a lot to convince me.”

Less dubious was the study’s finding that humans respond with more nurturing tendencies upon seeing photos of dogs with fake tears in their eyes than those without tears. It can encourage the caregiving instinct among people researchers said.

Previous studies have shown that dogs display awareness of human emotions, and that they can put different people into different emotional categories, with behavior to go along.