Dogs Can Really Reveal if a Person is Untrustworthy

A cat or a dog?

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 they can sense how we feel. We have previously discussed how dogs can benefit people with mental conditions. Now, a new study has discovered that pooches can tell the difference between happy and angry faces, and even show jealousy. Another recent research has explored the matter more profoundly and has 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 ages that dogs understand what it means when a human points at something. If a dog’s owner points to the place where someone’s left a ball, stick or food, the dog will go there and explore this place. In the study led by a scientist called Akiko Takaoka of Kyoto University in Japan 34 dogs were presented with three rounds of pointing. The aim was to find out whether or not a dog would trust a person who lied to it. The scientists wanted to learn if the dog could find out whether 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 point to a box of food. Then, the animal ran to it. In the first round, the participants accurately pointed to where food was hidden in a box. But in the next round, they pointed to an empty container. It turned out that dogs would go to something their owner would point at. That means the dogs understood the people’s gestures. But if the signals were contradictory, the dog would feel worried and stressed. So, when in the third round, the same person again pointed to the container with food, the dogs would not follow the showing hand. They did not trust the liars. All the dogs that took part in the experiment reacted 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 feel attracted to anything new. And that is why the new participant earned the dogs’ trust once again. Takaoka states she was shocked that the dogs became aware of the honesty of a person so fast. “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. Studying their behavior could show how profoundly domestication has influenced dogs’ social intelligence. The group of scientists thinks that the research could play an essential role in dogs’ behavioral studies. “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.

During a different experiment, dog owners asked people for help. Then, the people were trying to give the dogs a treat. And the pets wouldn’t eat a treat from the ones who had bad behavior toward their owners. But they allowed those who helped their owners and even the people who did nothing about the begging to feed them.

Dogs certainly understand the communication between their owners and strangers.

That is what a study led by Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews declared. In another experiment, dog owners asked two groups of strangers for help. The dogs showed a good understanding of social rules. But avoided interaction with the people who were rude to their owners.

Dog owner Victoria Standen also confirms this finding.

She has a collie which is thought to be one of the most intelligent breeds. When they go out for a walk, the collie will sit at the point of a junction and wait to see which direction to go. On the top of that, if a stranger has demonstrated to be rude or untrustworthy in some way (and not only when it comes to food) the collie will not trust them.

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, they will respond to what’s there. Dogs cannot think deeply about what is going on. If you mislead your dog, it will not trust or serve you. And in case your dog doesn’t like your buddies, there might be something wrong with the people you consider your friends.

Do you have a dog?

What do you think about your dog’s social intelligence?

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