IF YOUR dog is stressed for a long period of time, you might start noticing changes in his health or behaviour, some of which can lead to serious problems. Flickr
THEY’VE been man’s best friend for thousands of years.

So it’s no surprise that scientists have found dogs pick up on their owners’ anxieties - and become stressed, too.

Researchers studied 58 dogs - 33 Shetland sheepdogs and 25 border collies - and their female owners in their experiment.

They recorded the amount of cortisol, a stress hormone, in samples of hair from each dog and each human taken on two separate occasions.

The study, published in Scientific Reports, found the cortisol levels in human hair matched those found in their dogs.

It is believed to be the first time a study has shown “synchronisation” of long-term stress between two different species, the researchers said.

Study leader Professor Lina Roth, of Linkoping University in Sweden, suggests humans influence their pets’ stress levels rather than the other way around, as people are “a more central part of the dog’s life, whereas we humans also have other social networks”.

Depression, excessive exercise and unemployment can all influence the amount of cortisol found in your hair. 

Daily Mail