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Marc Bekoff Discusses New Study Proving That Dogs Can Feel Human Emotions

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Marc Bekoff thinks that "man's best friend" interacts with one another in way that isn't so different from man.

The University of Colorado Professor recorded hours of footage of canines together and noticed that dogs were using different physical positions as a means to express emotions. For instance, "Play Bow," a sort of lunge that resembles "child pose" from yoga, is commonly seen amongst dogs because it's their way of both inviting another pooch to play with them and expressing remorse for playing aggressively -- two sentiments that have their place in human life.

"'Play bow' is used like punctuation to maintain the play group," he told HuffPost Live's Caroline Modarressy Tehrani of its effect in the greater dog-park setting.

The Washington Post reports that Bekoff's findings "suggest that dogs have a kind of moral code — one long hidden to humans." This moral code spans a whole range of human-like emotions, which Bekoff gave further insight into.

"We noticed across species [that dogs] can play without play escalating into a fight," he explained. "It's actually very rare, although people think it's more common. And then when we really analyzed the film very carefully, we see the punctuation of 'I wanna play with you, I don't wanna beat you up or mate with you."

Watch the clip above to hear more from Bekoff about his groundbreaking discovery.

Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled Marc Bekoff's name as "Mark." The error has been fixed.

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