Research: Dogs are more like humans

Team HTV Jul 22 2015

According to a new research, it has been discovered that dogs have more in common with humans than it was perceived earlier. While their trait of loyalty (a human quality) has always been their trademark, dogs can also read facial expressions, communicate jealousy, display empathy and even watch TV, new studies suggest.

In particular, “paying attention to us, getting along with us, (and) tolerating us” has led to particular characteristics that often mirror ours, says Laurie Santos, director of the Yale Comparative Cognition Laboratory.

Other findings suggest that dogs can also eavesdrop on humans and try and make-out as to what they are saying.

In a new study, scientists tested 54 dogs that each watched their owners struggle to retrieve a roll of tape from a container. The dogs were divided into three groups: helper, non-helper, and control.

In the helper group, the owner requested help from another person who held the container. In the non-helper group, the owner asked for help from a person who turned their back on them. In the control group, the additional person turned his or her back without being asked for help. In all experiments, a third “neutral” person sat in the room.

After the first round of experiments, the neutral person and the helper or non-helper both offered treats to the dog.

In the non-helper group, canines most frequently favored the neutral person’s treat, shunning the non-helper. However, in the helper group, the dogs did not favor either the neutral or helper’s treat. Scientists have previously observed similar results in human infants and tufted capuchin monkeys.

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