Study Says Dogs Can Tell If A Person Is Untrustworthy

Study Says Dogs Can Tell If A Person Is Untrustworthy

These furballs are way smarter than we give them credit for!

Dogs are way smarter than you think! Not only are they full of unconditional love; our furbabies are also full of social awareness.

Have you ever wondered if dogs can tell if a human is trustworthy or not? Researchers led by Akiko Takaoka from Kyoto University in Japan essentially tricked 34 dogs all in the name of science to get to the root of it. Published in the journal Animal Cognition, the study was done to see if dogs will still trust "unreliable humans."

Experts used the old ‘point and fetch’ trick through three rounds of pointing with 34 dogs. First, they truthfully pointed out to the dogs where their treats and toys were hidden in a container. However, in the second round, they pointed to an empty container. By the third round, the team pointed to the location of the box, which was filled with treats again. It looks like the furballs were following the adage: “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me," because many of them stayed put... questioning the reliability of the researchers.  This proves that dogs are actually pretty quick to "devalue the reliability of a human." "Dogs have more sophisticated social intelligence than we thought," Akiko Takaoka told BBC News, as per Science Alert. "This social intelligence evolved selectively in their long life history with humans." As Takota explained, this is all in the pursuit of studying "the profound effect of domestication" on the social intelligence of these incredible animals.

Representational Image Source: Getty Images/ paul mansfield photography



According to phys.org, another study involved researchers at the University of Vienna publishing the behavior of 260 dogs in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. As part of the experiments all of the dogs were taught to follow the advice of an "unknown human" in identifying which of two bowls contained a hidden treat. The human told the dog which bowl contained the treat, and the dog listened, in the first round. The dogs realized they would get the treat following the huma's advice..Then the researchers mixed things up.  In the second round,  researchers "allowed the dogs to watch as another unknown human moved the treat from one bowl to another while a second unknown human watched; in other cases, the second human was absent from the switch-up."  This second person then delivered the two food bowls and pointed out to the dogs as to which contained the treat. But here's what happened: the dogs didn't listen because they knew the person did not know which bowl had the treat. Also, "half of the dogs ignored the human advice when they knew from observation that the human was pointing at the wrong bowl," reports phys.org. The conclusion? Dogs aren't trusting of lying adults!


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