Dogs and human beings share a special bond. We are two of the few species that have co-evolved. Since dogs joined human beings around the hunter gatherer campfire 40,000+ years ago, we’ve been influencing each others evolution. Dogs and human beings are the only two species that can recognize and react to each others facial expressions. Test it out. Raise your eyebrows at a dog, they’ll react with interest. Ever heard of a hangdog look? You know exactly what that expression is, and, so does your dog.
Scientists also tell us that many dogs will look where you’re looking and where you’re point at. Dogs will also study your habits, behaviors, and movements so that they can anticipate what you’re going to do. They live to please.
Other scientists tell us that dogs really do love us. They love us like you love your child and a child loves its parents. That bond is real and strong — interestingly enough, it isn’t in cats, but that is a blog post of a different stripe.
And, now, more scientists, German scientists — those are the very best kind of scientists, you know — tell us that dogs can tell when you’re faking it and when you mean it. For real man.
Keep in mind that this is ONE study with a small sample of 51 dogs, but it the evidence is clearly suggests it is possible. It should be enough to inspire further research into determining whether dogs really can grasp human intentions.
We here at Ye Olde Blogge suspect that it will turn out like the pointing and looking research: SOME dogs do look where you are pointing or looking and SOME dogs don’t. Depends on the dog and the circumstances and how much exposure they’ve had to human beings.
German scientists find fresh evidence of canine intelligence
Dogs seem to be able to grasp notion of human intention, say researchers
Nicola Davis Science correspondent
Wednesday 1 September 2021
From a canny look to a quizzical grumble, dogs have long conveyed the impression they know more about what their owners are up to than what might be expected. Now researchers have found fresh evidence of canine savviness, revealing dogs seem to be able to tell whether human actions are deliberate or accidental.
While theory of mind – the ability to attribute thoughts to others and to recognise that can result in certain behaviours – is often thought to be uniquely human, the study suggests at least some elements may be common to canines.
“Our findings provide important initial evidence that dogs may have at least one aspect of theory of mind: the capacity to recognise intention-in-action,” the authors write, noting among other animals to show such an ability are chimpanzees, African grey parrots and horses.
Continue reading on The Guardian: German scientists find fresh evidence of canine intelligence
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Categories: Cognitive Psychology