Science confirms that dogs can recognize a bad person.
Dogs may not look really smart when running after their own tail, but in many ways they are intelligent creatures. In particular, they are very aware of society, of humans and to each others.
We already know that dogs can feel fear, but can they discover the truth? A dog might actually be smarter than you think. It turns out that dogs are good enough to understand certain human behaviors. AND Science confirms it.
A team of researchers from Kyoto University in Japan, led by Akiko Takaoka, conducted a study that revealed that dogs really know if you are trustworthy or not.
It is obvious that if you point an object, a dog will run towards it. The researchers used this information in their study. During the experiment, they pointed to a container filled with hidden food. Of course, the dog ran to the container. Then they pointed to an empty container. The dogs ran to the container, but found that there was no food.
The third time the researchers pointed to a container containing food, the dogs refused to go there. They knew that the person pointing to the object was not trustworthy, based on their previous experience.
Thirty-four dogs were used in the experiment, and all refused to go to the container the third time. This experience proves either that dogs can spot a liar, or that they have serious problems of trust.
In other words, if you lie to your dog, it will be is convinced that your word is not good and that it will behave accordingly. “Dogs have a more sophisticated social intelligence than we thought – this social intelligence has evolved selectively over their long life with humans,” said Akiko Takaoka, who was also surprised to see dogs being fast when they “devalued the reliability of a human”.
John Bradshaw, from the University of Bristol in the UK, who did not participate in this study, says the results indicate that dogs prefer predictability. When the actions are inconsistent, dogs tend to become nervous and stressed.
The researchers plan to repeat the experiment by exchanging the dogs with the wolves, because the wolves are closely related to the dogs. The purpose of this is not to be bitten by wolves, but rather to see the “profound effects of domestication” on dogs.