Full video at the end of the article.
We as Shih Tzu Fanz and lovers already know it about our cute little furry friends: they are family.
And we treat them like family. They are very personable and want to be included in whatever is going on.
They love to be with family.
We give them lots of love. And they return that love to us 10 fold.
In short, they love being with us, and we love being with them.
Research has shown additional benefits of being with your Shih Tzu apart from the mutual love: a reduced heart rate, a stronger immunity and higher self-esteem.
And recently a new phenomenon can be added to that list: heart rate synchronicity!
According to Mia Cobb, a canine scientist:
There was a really strong coherence in the heart rate pattern of both the owner and dog. Upon being reunited within the first minute, each heart rhythm became almost directly aligned and we saw a reduction straight away.
Cobb and Dr. Craig Duncan ran an experiment that set out to prove that stress, a significant issue in today’s society, can melt away by simply being around your dog.
What happened during the experiment?
The Monash University in Australia partnered with Pedigree Petfoods for this research experiment, in which they measured the effects of a dog-human relationship.
Most of us may already be aware of the positive effects that relationship has on us humans.
The experiment now suggests that the dogs are also physically benefiting from this relationship.
Most of us aren’t aware that there’s a real physiological connection that occurs between an owner and their dog that lowers stress and anxiety. When a close bond is shared, a type of heart-rhythm alignment can occur – two completely separate species sharing one healthy heart.
During the experiment, three dogs and their owners were separated.
Each were hooked up to a heart rate monitor.
They then recorded the change in heart rate, both during separation, and when the dog and their owner were united again.
What was shown on the heart rate monitor was surprising, to say the least.
It was magical. Not only did the heart rates lower, they actually synchronized!
This project is a really good illustration of what most owners experience every night when they come home from work and are reunited with their companion.
Many ways dogs are helping us.
Dogs bring out the good in us. They are helping us every day in may ways: they guard and protect us, alert if danger is around, guide people with visual impairment, etc.
And another way is … by just being with us.
Courtroom Comforts. We all know what a courtroom is: the enclosed space in which courts of law are held in front of a judge.
What most of us probably do not know from personal experience is that going to court can be a stressful affair.
Most individuals who need to go to court are going to feel some anxiety about the situation.
And even though the room is designed to evoke emotions, once court proceedings start, the feeling of anxiety may be accompanied by other emotions such as anger, jealousy, or sadness.
And it will become difficult and important to keep your cool, and maintain professionalism. Bring in the dogs!
Courtrooms are highly stressful places, so dogs are being used to help people cope with anxiety and to provide comfort.
These dogs are trained to rest at your feet and to stand beside you as you make your statements, helping you relax by simply being by your side.
People need to go to the hospital for different reasons.
Some may be admitted to the hospital through the emergency department for problems that need immediate medical treatment.
Others are scheduled to have surgery, special medication, or other treatments prescribed by their doctors.
The Royal Children’s Hospital is involved with the Lort Smith Pet Therapy program, a program that aims to improve the well-being of patients through positive contact with dogs. Walking a dog through the hospital ward can often act as a key motivator to help a child get out of bed in an otherwise stressful situation. Some physiotherapists have been known to involve the dogs to encourage movement when working with children.
Many hear beautiful and heart-warming stories resulting from these visits.
Check out this video of the heart rate synchronization experiment. Dogs bring out the good in us. Watch the filmed demonstration: Hearts Aligned.