Source: NY Times
According to some recent studies, man’s best friend is acting more human than we ever thought possible. The research suggests that our dogs are capable of displaying jealousy and empathy. After 16,000 years of being domesticated by humans, dogs can even read facial expressions. Here are five of our favourite findings:
Source: Dog Notebook
1. TAKING SIDES
An Animal Behaviour study looked at three groups of dogs observing their owners struggle with a task. In the three different scenarios, the owner was granted help, denied help or ignored completely by another human. The other human then offered treats to the dog after the experiment. Interestingly, dogs often shunned the non-helpers when offered treats, but accepted treats from the person who helped their owner with the task. This suggests that dogs are able to take sides. Moral of the story: your dog’s got your back.
Source: PSU Edu
Scientists have shown than our pups experience jealousy. CS Monitor reported a study where dogs were placed in a room with their owners. The owners were then asked to direct their attention to several objects: a jack-o-lantern, a stuffed dog toy with an electronic wagging tail and a pop-up children’s book. They were asked to treat the lantern and the stuffed toy as though they were real pets by talking affectionately, interacting and stroking the objects. Dogs were twice as likely to nudge their owner during interactions with the stuffed animal and more than a third snapped at or tried to get in between their owner and the toy.
Source: Official Husky Lovers
A study published in Animal Cognition found that dogs are more likely to approach someone who is crying than someone who is humming or talking – even if they are not their owner. Usually a dog will observe the person from across the room before coming to lie down at their feet or place their head on their lap. If the dog has sensed sadness for a prolonged period of time, they may even lose interest in their own toys or food to mirror your mood.
Source: Earth Porm
Hungarian scientists have identified that human social groups behave more similarly to dog groups than chimpanzee groups. The three main types of social behaviour in humans are sociality (a measure of loyalty or aggressiveness towards other members of a group); synchronisation (following shared rules and emotions) and constructive activity (communicating and cooperating to achieve group goals). Apparently humans learned these behaviours six million years ago after separating from chimpanzees, and dogs exhibit the same group dynamics.
Source: 3 Million Dogs
That’s right, our dogs can develop the same obsessive-compulsive condition as us humans. But where you can’t stop washing your hands, a Finnish study (Bustle) of 368 dogs found that behaviours such as continuously chasing a tail, snapping at invisible flies, pacing, increased licking and other repetitive actions are signs of canine OCD. Dogs that form obsessive behaviours are often abandoned or maltreated by their mothers from a young age. So next time your dog can’t stop chasing its own tail, maybe give it an understanding cuddle before uploading it onto Snapchat.