To choose between taking a cat or dog can be difficult. Dogs need more care whereas cats are more autonomous. However, if you want to have a cuddle with your pet friend – and not just when it suits your cat, then maybe a dog is the right option for you.
What is more, dogs are much more sensitive than cats when it comes to human emotions.
There is a lot of evidence that they can feel what we are feeling. We discussed earlier how dogs can help people with mental illness. Now, a new study has shown that bitches can make the difference between happy and angry faces and even show jealousy. Another recent study has deepened the question and proved that dogs can understand how reliable a person is.
It turns out that dogs, as real cops, can reveal if the person is untrustworthy.
We have known for centuries that dogs understand what it means when someone points something. If the owner of a dog points to where someone has left a ball, stick or food, the dog will go and explore that place. The study, led by a scientist named Akiko Takaoka from Kyoto University in Japan, showed 34 dogs in three rounds. The goal was to know if a dog would trust someone who lied to him or not. The scientists wanted to know if the dog could know if the participant was reliable or not.
Dogs would use their previous experience to understand if someone was dishonest.
In the experiment, dog owners had to indicate a box of food. Then the animal ran away. During the first round, participants indicated exactly where the food was hidden in a box. In the next round, however, they indicated an empty container. It turned out that the dogs would go to something that the owner would indicate. This means that dogs have understood the actions of the people. However, if the signals are contradictory, the dog would feel worried and stressed. So, in the third round, when the same person pointed the food container again, the dogs did not follow it. They did not trust liars. All the dogs that participated in the experiment reacted in the same way, concluded the Animal Cognition Journal.
After these rounds, a new participant repeated the first round.
Once again, the dogs followed the new experimenter with interest. The reason for their behavior is simple. Dogs are attracted to something new. As a result, the new participant again gained the trust of the dogs. Takaoka is shocked by the fact that the dogs quickly became aware of a person’s honesty. “Dogs possess more complex social intelligence than we’ve imagined. This social intelligence has developed selectively during all these ages they’ve been living with humans.”
The next move of the scientists will be to examine wolves.
These animals are closely related to dogs. The study of their behavior could show how deep domestication has influenced the social intelligence of dogs. The group of scientists thinks that research could play an important role in behavioral studies in dogs. “Dogs prefer this world to be certain,” states John Bradshaw an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Bristol’s vet school.
Another research proved that dogs also control how others communicate with their owners.
In another experiment, dog owners asked people for help. Then people tried to do something good for the dogs. And pets do not eat treats from those who misbehave towards their owners. But they allowed those who helped their owners and even those who did nothing against begging to feed them.
Dogs certainly understand the communication between their owners and strangers.
This explained a study conducted by Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews. In another experiment, dog owners asked for help from two groups of strangers. The dogs showed a good understanding of the social rules. But avoided interactions with people who were rude to their owners.
Dog owner Victoria Standen also confirms this finding.
She has a collie who is considered one of the most intelligent breeds. If they go for a walk, the collie sits at an intersection and waits in which direction to go. If a stranger has been rude or unreliable (and not just food), the collie has no confidence.
Scientists have proved that dogs can understand our gestures and facial expressions.
“Dogs, are not mindlessly listening to us when we gesture,” states Brian Hare, who works as a chief scientific officer at Dognition.”They assess the information we give them based in part on how it could help them achieve their goals. Many family dogs, could avoid your gesture if you point incorrectly and use their memory to find a hidden treat,” continues Hare.
Dogs are smarter than we think.
It is scientifically confirmed that dogs are more intelligent than was once thought, but their intelligence is very different from humans’ intelligence. “Dogs are very sensitive to human behavior. However, they have fewer preconceptions,”. “They live in the present moment, they don’t think about the past and are not able to make plans for the future.”, declared Bradshaw.
People cannot mislead dogs.
When a dog encounters a situation, he reacts to what is there. Dogs can not think deeply about what’s going on. If you mislead your dog, he will not trust you. And if your dog does not like your friends, maybe something is wrong with the people you consider friends.