FILE - This Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 file photo shows a Shetland sheepdog at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York. A study published Thursday, June 6, 2019 in the journal Scientific Reports, suggests that dogs owners experiencing long bouts of stress can actually transfer the stress to their dogs like a contagious infection. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Stressed out? Your dog may feel it too, study suggests

June 06, 2019 - 9:02 am

NEW YORK (AP) — A new study suggests when dog owners go through stressful times, their pets also feel the pressure.

Swedish researchers focused on 58 people who own border collies or Shetland sheepdogs.

They examined hair from the dog owners and their pets, looking at levels of a hormone that's released into the bloodstream and absorbed by hair follicles in response to stress.

They found human and canine stress levels were in sync, and think the owners are influencing the dogs rather than the other way around.

Findings were published Thursday in Scientific Reports.

Researchers plan to investigate whether other dog breeds will react to their owners the same way.

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