Did You Know Dogs Are More Like Us Than We Think?


While it is quite apparent to most dog owners that man’s best friend often acts more like humans than we think, it has since been proven with research that it is, in fact, true.

 Dogs do not just read facial expressions but also sense jealousy, show empathy, and watch TV. It is believed that these human traits were picked up by dogs when they evolved from wolves about 15,000 years ago.

 As dogs started living with humans, they started dealing with human characteristics that are mirrored in their behaviors.

 Here are a few findings that can prove how closely dogs reflect human nature compared to other canines. 

1. Gaze

While dogs were known to follow a human’s gaze only when there were foods and toys, a new study observed a new finding.

 An experiment conducted by Wallis and her colleagues wanted to study the factors that affected a dog’s tendency to follow a gaze.

 Wallis and her team recruited 145 pet border collies and studied their gaze towards a door. The experiment showed that only the untrained border collies followed her gaze. The trained dogs not following her gaze could be because they are taught to look at a person’s face more than where they are looking.

This is an excellent answer to the burning question of “Is it ever too late to start training a dog?” It is always a good idea for dogs to start training as early as possible, but if that’s not the case, you can learn to train them at any age. Dogs are incredibly curious and love pleasing their masters. Pleasing you by following your commands is their way of showing their love. However, you need to be able to adopt the right training methodologies. Check out this article to learn more about dog training.   

Wallis then spent five minutes training the untrained dogs, and they no longer followed her gaze but had the instinct to glance back and forth to the door and her.

 2. Eavesdropping

It is human nature to social eavesdrop since it helps people figure out the other person’s personality.

A recent study was conducted on 54 dogs in which they watched their owner struggle to open a tape from a container. These dogs were divided into three groups: non-helper, helper, and control. The dogs were rewarded with treats safe for dogs once they completed their task. In all these experiments, there was a neutral person who sat in the room doing nothing. The study was conducted in the following ways: 

  •     Helper Group: The owner struggling with the tape asked help from another person.
  •     Non-Helper Group: The owner asked for help from the other person but was rejected.
  •     Control Group: The other person turned their back without being asked for help.

 After this, the other helper or non-helper and the neutral person both gave treats to the dog. The following was observed: 

  •     Helper Group: The dogs didn’t take the treats from both the helper and the neutral person.
  •     Non-Helper Group: The dogs seemed to like the treats given by the neutral person only.

 This experiment suggests how dogs generally tend to ignore people who are rude and dismissive.

  3. Future steps in Dog Research

For humans, age can be a definitive factor that affects short-term memory and reasoning skills when learning new tasks. Researchers have seen similar nature in dogs as well. There needs to be more detailed research in this field, which is why Wallis and her team are now studying dogs’ memory strength.

 No wonder dogs and humans get along so well. Dog owners already know how much their dogs seem like humans and now they have the scientific facts to back them up. If you have a furry friend and want to make sure you are always providing them with best care, consider signing up for dog insurance.



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