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Long-term stress levels are synchronized in dogs and their owners

Sundman, Ann-Sofie (författare)
Linköpings universitet,Biologi,Tekniska fakulteten
van Poucke, Enya (författare)
Linköpings universitet,Biologi,Tekniska fakulteten
Svensson Holm, Ann-Charlotte (författare)
Linköpings universitet,Biologi,Tekniska fakulteten
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Olsen Faresjö, Åshild (författare)
Linköpings universitet,Avdelningen för samhällsmedicin,Medicinska fakulteten
Theodorsson, Elvar (författare)
Linköpings universitet,Avdelningen för klinisk kemi,Medicinska fakulteten,Region Östergötland, Klinisk kemi
Jensen, Per (författare)
Linköpings universitet,Biologi,Tekniska fakulteten
Roth, Lina (författare)
Linköpings universitet,Biologi,Tekniska fakulteten
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Ingår i: Scientific Reports. - : NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. - 2045-2322 .- 2045-2322. ; 9
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)
Abstract Ämnesord
  • This study reveals, for the first time, an interspecific synchronization in long-term stress levels. Previously, acute stress, has been shown to be highly contagious both among humans and between individuals of other species. Here, long-term stress synchronization in dogs and their owners was investigated. We studied 58 dog-human dyads and analyzed their hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) at two separate occasions, reflecting levels during previous summer and winter months. The personality traits of both dogs and their owners were determined through owner-completed Dog Personality Questionnaire (DPQ) and human Big Five Inventory (BFI) surveys. In addition, the dogs activity levels were continuously monitored with a remote cloud-based activity collar for one week. Shetland sheepdogs (N = 33) and border collies (N = 25), balanced for sex, participated, and both pet dogs and actively competing dogs (agility and obedience) were included to represent different lifestyles. The results showed significant interspecies correlations in long-term stress where human HCC from both summer and winter samplings correlated strongly with dog HCC (summer: N = 57, chi(2) = 23.697, P amp;lt; 0.001, beta = 0.235; winter: N = 55, chi(2) = 13.796, P amp;lt; 0.001, beta = 0.027). Interestingly, the dogs activity levels did not affect HCC, nor did the amount of training sessions per week, showing that the HCC levels were not related to general physical activity. Additionally, there was a seasonal effect in HCC. However, although dogs personalities had little effects on their HCC, the human personality traits neuroticism, conscientiousness, and openness significantly affected dog HCC. Hence, we suggest that dogs, to a great extent, mirror the stress level of their owners.


MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES  -- Health Sciences -- Occupational Health and Environmental Health (hsv//eng)
MEDICIN OCH HÄLSOVETENSKAP  -- Hälsovetenskaper -- Arbetsmedicin och miljömedicin (hsv//swe)
MEDICIN OCH HÄLSOVETENSKAP  -- Hälsovetenskaper (hsv//swe)
MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES  -- Health Sciences (hsv//eng)

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