- Study shows that dogs know when people are unreliable
- Researchers also found out that dogs tend to trust other people that were nice to their owners rather than those who showed rude behavior
It’s true that dogs are man’s best friend and it’s easy for us to trust our pet doggos.
But did you know that a recent study shows that dogs can judge and analyze how reliable a person is? A research conducted by scientist Akiko Takaoka from Kyoto University in Japan made and experiment to find out if a dog could understand if a person is trustworthy or not.
Takaoka and his colleagues claims that their research has a potential implication on dogs’ behavioral studies.
In the experiment, dog owners would first point to a container with food. The dog would run to it. Then a container without food would be pointed at. The dogs were tricked and approached the container. As it is known that dogs would run to an object that their owners point at, they are believed to understand human gestures and the dogs may feel nervous and stressed when these gestures are inconsistent.
The third time they did the experiment, the dogs would no longer follow the pointing hand. According to the Animal Cognition Journal, 34 dogs took part in the experiment and all of them showed the same results. They used their previous experience to know and understand that a person is unreliable.
Additional research states that dogs can also control how other people interact with their owners. The experiment consisted of dog owners asking people for help and the helpers giving the dog a treat afterwards. Results showed that the didn’t take the treat from those who behaved badly toward their owners. They preferred those who helped, but even took treats to those who did nothing.
Another study from the Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews stated that dogs can feel the atmosphere of the conversation of their owners and other people. This was tested when the dogs showed good understanding of communication flow and did not trust those who showed rude and aggressive behavior.
Mr. Takaoka stated that they plan to continue the experiment with dogs’ closest relatives, the wolves.