New research has confirmed that dogs judge humans on how they treat others. That’s right - you’d better be kind, or else your dog will judge you!
By Published on 16 May 2019
Okay, so we already knew that dogs were pretty clever. They know how to let us know that they’re hungry, they tell us when they need to go outside, and they can definitely tell when we need cheering up.
But were you aware that your dog can identify the way a human treats another? Basically, dogs have a great sense of character and can instinctively recognize a ‘mean’, ‘untrustworthy’ or ‘bad’ person. Mad, huh?
If you’re mean, it’ll never be fur-gotten!
According to the study, which was published in the Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews, a dog can sense when one person is being mean to another.
So how did they find out? Well, a number of scientists analysed the typical reactions that dogs have to different events.
According to The Animal Rescue Site, the scientists said: “Dogs are known to consistently follow human pointing gestures. In this study, we asked whether dogs ‘automatically’ do this or whether they flexibly adjust their behaviour depending upon the reliability of the pointer, demonstrated in an immediately preceding event.”
For example, one scenario consisted of a person gladly helping someone to open a jar. In the variation of the scenario, another person flat out refused to help the other to open the jar. Immediately after each scenario, the person would attempt to give the dog a treat.
And what they found was incredible
While it might sound like a fairly simple experiment, it really does prove a dog’s emotional intelligence and sense of perception.
When the person who helped to open the jar offered a treat, the dog would gladly take it and even take it directly from their hand. When the person who didn’t offer to help tried to give the dog a treat, the dog completely ignored them.
“These results suggest that not only dogs are highly skilled at understanding human pointing gestures, but also they make inferences about the reliability of a human who presents cues and consequently modifies their behaviour flexibly depending on the inference."
So, we bet you're a lovely person anyway,but now you've got an even bigger reason to be the kindest version of yourself: your dog is totes judging you!