Dog Does Something Remarkable for Sibling Stressed After Spell in Kennel

A video of two dogs reuniting after their owner’s vacation has gone viral on TikTok.

Tugging at the heartstrings of more than half a million viewers, the clip shows Oda the pit bull comforting her stressed sibling following their time apart in a kennel.

Oda is seen affectionately licking Wrigley’s head. The text layered over the footage says this is something she has never done.

Owner Jacqueline Blake (@_jacqueline_blake) wrote: “They had never been kenneled before. I think he was stressed and she comforted him.” The video has racked up 51,500 likes since it was shared on March 11.

Two Staffordshire bullterriers
A stock image shows a Staffordshire bull terrier licking another one. A video of a pit bull comforting her stressed sibling has recently gone viral on TikTok.

Laura Fay/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Do Dogs Have Empathy?

In short, the answer is yes. One study found that dogs can pick up on humans’ emotions and that they are more than willing to comfort upset people.

Psychology department researchers at Goldsmiths, University of London conducted an experiment on empathy in domestic dogs. They found that dogs tended to be oriented more toward both their owner and strangers when they pretended to cry, compared with when they were talking or humming.

Observers, who were not informed of the study’s hypotheses or the conditions, more often perceived the dogs’ behavior as submissive during the crying. Interestingly, when strangers pretended to cry, dogs approached them—sniffing, nuzzling and licking—rather than seeking comfort from their owners.

This behavior suggests that dogs’ responses align with empathic concern, but it is most simply explained as emotional contagion influenced by past experiences of being rewarded for comforting distressed humans.

In this case, Oda is reassuring her canine companion that everything is going to be OK.

So far, the clip has amassed over 1,000 comments, many from owners who refuse to go on vacation if it means leaving their pet behind.

This is far from unusual. In a survey of 500 pet parents by the website, 37 percent said they had previously chosen not to travel so they could stay at home with their dog.

One comment with 3,369 likes said: “This is why I have zero life. Don’t travel if not by car. But mainly don’t have a life. [Because] they are my life.”

Said another: “I’ve postponed my honeymoon twice because my 18 year old baby wouldn’t make it that long without me.”

A third commenter said: “I’m a in home pet sitter. After doing this for a while I believe that pets are more comfortable at home. Even with a stranger taking care of them.”

Newsweek reached out to @_jacqueline_blake for comment via TikTok and could not verify the details of the case.

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