We all know that dogs can sense our emotions...happy, sad, angry, but does your pooch know when you're lying? And then turn away because they can't trust you?
Sciencealert.com has the story of researchers from Kyoto University in Japan who think they figured this out. They used an old trick. A human points to a ball, a stick, or some food, and the dog runs off to find it. Are dogs just blindly following clues? Because the second time they told the dog to go there...there was nothing there to find. Then on the third try, most dogs wouldn't go and turned away, seemingly knowing the human was lying. How about that! Will the dog quickly learn to mistrust and disobey the humans who pointed in the wrong direction?
A second experiment was performed in exactly the same way as the first one, except the person was replaced by an entirely new one. The dogs happily started the process all over again, and were fully open to trusting their new 'friend'.
The experiment shows what we know about the nature of dogs - they love routine, but they also love new things. In round one, they learned how the activity goes. But when round three came along, the human who broke the rules was replaced by a different human, and the dogs were happy to trust this one because of their love of trying new things.
So don't trick your dog...because the dog will figure you out!
Photo: Jet by Valerie Knight