A dog or a cat? This perennial question seems to haunt humanity for centuries. If your slants are still not consistent the below finding might throw into the scale.
We are all aware of many redeeming qualities of dogs, but there is another one, which is their striking ability to sense whether the person is trustworthy or not.
Many researchers have long been interested in specific patterns of dogs’ behavior. In the words of John Bradshaw from Bristol University, a few experiments have already confirmed that volatility is not the dogs’ best preference.
One more research in the same direction was undertaken by Japanese scientists who investigated the dog’s attitude to the person who at least once deceived it. Akiko Takaoka of Kyoto University and his fellows were interested in how dogs perceive the inconsistent conduct of their owners.
Most people know how willingly dogs rush to the objects pointed by the owners. This is because of their amazing ability to comprehend the human sign language. If the gesturing of the master becomes contradictory, the animal gets anxious and tensed up.
The following research, conducted in Japan, has proved this pattern one more time. The testing procedure was broken down into three stages. At the first one dogs were shown food containers, pointed by the masters. Dogs were cheerfully running to them. At the second stage, the owners were instructed to point at empty containers that were at a great distance from the pets. Poor animals without expecting any weenie run to containers again only to find out that they had been cheated.
At the final stage, all 34 dogs did not get interested in any kind of pointed containers. They remembered their disappointments at the earlier stage and did not want to rely on the owners’ gestures anymore. Since dogs are closely related to wolves, Mr. Takaoka is planning to experiment with the dogs’ wild relatives too.
There were some extra studies that showed a few other interesting abilities of the men’s best friends; in particular, how talented the dogs might be in checking interactions of their masters with other people. In the next survey, the dogs showed different reactions to the treat that was as much a surprise to the researchers. The dogs’ masters were asked to seek the assistance of pedestrians, who, in their turn, were then encouraged to feed the disciple.
Those persons, who were not helpful, or worse, treated the owner badly, dogs met with an equal attitude. Dogs readily took bites only from those who were helpful and friendly. It is also notable that those whose manners were not so prominent (neither strongly negative nor fully positive) but just neutral – however received the dogs’ favor.
A similar study described in the Neuroscience and Bio-behavioral Reviews publication showed identical results. In this case, the dog holders were seeking help not from isolate pedestrians, but from the two different groups of people. Those who were not too helpful received an appropriate response from the dogs.
The different response of two different groups of people was grasped by the dogs. They seem to grasp social rules, correctly interpret human behavior, and refrain those who maltreated their masters.
Today our knowledge about dogs is a bit expanded and we understand that their intelligence is far beyond a body language reading. They seem to possess many more abilities that we are not yet discovered. Similarly to humans, they appear to have all three types of memory: spatial memory, and short-term and long- term memories. Nonetheless, most researchers share the view that our shaggy tail-waggers seem to live mainly for the moment and are “blind” to the future or the past.
So if you mistreated your dog, it stops trusting you. How can you be sure in all friends of yours, if your best friend does not have a liking for some?