Empathy in dogs: With a little help from a friend – a mixed blessing

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Vol: 2, Issue: 14

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Karl, Sabrina; Huber, Ludwig
Cognition and Perception; Cognitive Neuroscience; Ethics and Political Philosophy; Evolution; Life Sciences; Philosophy of Mind; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology; Zoology
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expert opinion description
Kujala (2017) presents an extensive overview of existing research on canine emotions in comparison to those of other non-human animals and humans. This commentary provides some additional research results on the intensively debated field of empathy in dogs. We focus on recent advances in the understanding of a fundamental building block of empathy — emotional contagion — and on dogs’ remarkable sensitivity for human emotions, including the skills of assistance dogs.