Dogs may not seem too bright when they start chasing their own tails, but in many ways, they are intelligent creatures. In particular, they are very conscious of society, both with humans and with other dogs. Many studies have shown that they can feel human emotions; in fact, they could differentiate between happy and angry faces, and even be jealous. However, it seems that they can also feel if a person is not trustworthy; Once a dog realizes, it stops following the signals it gives.
It has been known for many years that dogs understand what it means for a person to be pointing at something. For example, when the owner of a dog points to the position of a ball, stick or food, the animal will run and explore the place to which the person points. The latest research also shows that they are quick to find out if these gestures can be misleading. In a study published in the journal Animal Cognition, a team led by Akiko Takaoka of Kyoto University in Japan introduced 34 dogs and three separate rounds of aiming.
In the first round, researchers noted where a food container was hiding. In the second round, however, they pointed to an empty container. In the third, it was pointed out again to the one who had food, although the dogs did not respond to this last indication. That suggests, according to Takaoka, that dogs could use their experience with the researcher to assess whether they are reliable. After these rounds, a new study member repeated from the beginning; Once again, the animals followed this new person with interest.
Takaoka was surprised to see that dogs “devalued the reliability of a human being” so quickly. “It has a social intelligence more sophisticated than we thought, which evolved selectively in its long history next to the human beings”. The next step, according to the expert, would be to test other closely related species, such as wolves. This would reveal the “deep effects of domestication” on the social intelligence of dogs; Thus, the study highlighted that dogs are drawn to predictable things.
As soon as the events of their lives become irregular, they will look for alternative options to do. And if in a constant way, they do not know what will happen, they can become stressed, aggressive or fearful. “Dogs whose owners are inconsistent with them often have behavioral disorders.” This last part of the experiment can be explained by the fascination of dogs with something new: “Dogs are almost addicted to information,” said Bradshaw of Bristol University, “so a new researcher is” trustworthy ” once again”.