If you’re a pet owner, you’ve probably long suspected that your furry friend is pretty insightful, and now a new study has shown just how canny that canine of yours could be.
It’s been shown that dogs are capable of recognizing whether someone is a nice person, more specifically, they can tell whether a person is being horrible to another human. And the clever creatures use this information to influence how they then respond to someone, including you if you’re the one who’s being a bit rude.
To work this out, researchers asked dog owners to act out different scenarios while their pooches watched. The volunteers pretended to struggle at opening a container before asking two researchers to help them. In the first scenario, one researcher stood there passively, while their colleague offered to help. In the second, one researcher remained passive, while the other actively refused to help out.
At the conclusion of both scenarios, both researchers offered the dog in question a treat. And, here’s where it gets interesting: In the first scenario, dogs were just as likely to take a treat from both researchers.
But in the second scenario, where one of the researchers had been deliberately mean to their owners, the dogs were significantly more likely to ignore the one who had been unpleasant, shunning their treat.
The scientists concluded that dogs are able to tell if someone is being a nasty piece of work and judge them accordingly.
So, next time your dog seems to dislike someone, take note.