WATCH: Injured Dog Owner Spends £300 on X-Rays and Vets for his Dog — Only to Learn he was Only Copying him Out of Sympathy

Bill the lurcher lifts his paw above the ground and imitates his owner Russell Jones, whose leg is in a plaster cast, out of sympathy

This is the heartwarming moment a dog imitates his injured owner’s limp out of sympathy as he walks beside him.

Russell Jones, whose leg had been placed in a plaster cast, took to social media to share footage of his beloved lurcher Bill hop along the street with his paw raised above the ground in an effort to mimic his owner’s movements.

Mr Jones, who is believed to be from London, later explained that he had paid £300 in vet fees and X-rays for his limping canine – only to discover the dog was copying him out of sympathy.

Mr Jones found out that the limping lurcher did not have any physical ailments and was simply replicating his behaviour

The proud dog owner, whose video has since received more than two million views on social media, later took to Facebook to write: ‘Cost me £300 in vet fees and X-rays, nothing wrong just sympathy. Love him.’

During the clip, the lurcher is seen limping next to his owner as he hops along the street with his leg in a cast.

The dog continues to keep a watchful eye over his owner as he limps towards his house and enters his front garden.

Following the touching scenes, social media users shared their praise for the canine, with one calling it ‘pure love’.

One wrote: ‘He’s come out in sympathy with you! Speedy recovery to both of you.’

While another commented: ‘He’s copying you. That’s brilliant! Though you have my sympathy for the vets bill.’

Another person added: ‘You mean he’s hopping because you are? That’s fantastic!’

Meanwhile one social media user wrote: ‘So funny! Unbelievable, aren’t they just so in tune with us. Bless him.’

In 2011, scientists at the University of Vienna provided the first evidence of ‘automatic imitation’ in dogs and found that canines will imitate their owners even when it is not in their best interest to do so.

During the study, half of the dogs watched their human ‘pack leader’ slide open a door with their hand while the other half watched their leader use their head.

Researchers found that the dogs were more inclined to imitate whatever their pack leader displayed – with or without the prospect of a reward.

Lead author Friederike Range said: ‘This suggests that, like humans, dogs are subject to ”automatic imitation”; they cannot inhibit online, the tendency to imitate head use and/or paw use.’

Why dogs DO imitate their owners – even when it is not in their best interests

In 2011, scientists at the University of Vienna provided the first evidence of ‘automatic imitation’ in dogs and found that canines will imitate their owners even when it is not in their best interest to do so.

During the study, half of the dogs watched their human ‘pack leader’ slide open a door with their hand while the other half watched their leader use their head.

All of the dogs had received training to open a sliding door using their head or their paw prior to watching their leader.

Researchers found that the dogs were more inclined to imitate their pack leader – with or without the prospect of a reward.

Lead author Friederike Range said: ‘This suggests that, like humans, dogs are subject to ”automatic imitation”; they cannot inhibit online, the tendency to imitate head use and/or paw use.’

In their report the scientists went on to conclude that due to both their evolutionary history of domestication and their developmental training by humans, dogs will mimic behaviours they are shown.

In 2017, a study by Dr Iris Schoberl, at the University of Vienna, found that both owners and dogs influenced each other’s coping mechanisms.

An experiment involving 132 owners and their pets found that dogs belonging to neurotic owners were less able to cope with stress, while relaxed people had more relaxed and friendly pets.

The research paper also found that dogs were sensitive to their owners’ emotional states, with women in particular having stronger relationships with companion animals.

Dr Schoberl, lead author of the study published in the journal PLOS One, said: ‘Owners behave differently because they are pessimistic or neurotic, and perhaps dogs read the emotions of their owners and think the world is more dangerous, so are more reactive to it.

‘It looks like people who are pessimistic have dogs which are worse at coping with stress than others.’

The studies may help explain why the lurcher in the video replicates their owner’s movements.

But not all experts are convinced the dog’s behaviour is brought about by sympathy.

Rosie Bescoby, who is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, told MailOnline: ‘Dogs have to be trained to imitate people. Animals won’t ever do it out of sympathy. I would 110 per cent state that this dog is actually in pain and non-weight bearing for a physical reason.

‘I would have suggested the owner seek a second opinion from another vet and there are plenty of things that would not show up on an X-ray that can cause this (even as small as a thorn in the foot).

‘It would be complete coincidence that the dog has shown this behaviour at the same time the owner is in a cast.

‘Lurchers are not known for their bravery when it comes to pain so it may be that something fairly minor was causing the issue but I am afraid myself and my colleagues will categorically state that this is not a happy dog.

‘Anyone whose dog is showing signs of lameness should see their vet and if no diagnosis is made request referral or seek a second opinion.’

SOURCE: Daily Mail, 

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