Dogs and kids – how they can help
With a growing body of evidence that dogs can assist children, especially with issues like anxiety, scientists at Oregon State University have found that dogs do synchronise their behaviour with children in their familes, but not as much as they do with adults.
The findings in the paper published in the journal Animal Cognition are important because very little research has focused on how dogs perceive and socially engage with children.
“The great news is that this study suggests dogs are paying a lot of attention to the kids they live with,” said Oregon State animal behaviorist Monique Udell, the lead author of the study.
“One interesting thing we have observed,”she says, “is that dogs are matching their child’s behaviour less frequently than what we have seen between dogs and adult caretakers, which suggests that while they may view children as social companions, there are also some differences that we need to understand better.”
You can read more about this study here;