Until now, only humans and their close primate relatives were thought to find yawning contagious. A study by a team of researchers from Birbeck College, University of London team revealed that dogs also can emulate the yawning activities of their human owners. In a study involving 29 canines, 21 of the participants yawned when a stranger yawned in front of them.
The researchers also believe contagious yawning is the first evidence that dogs have the capacity to empathise with humans. Watch a video clip and read more on the BBC news report "Pet dogs can ‘catch' human yawns' by Jennifer Carpenter here http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7541633.stm