Does your dog understand you?


As far as we know, dogs and humans have been
coexisting for approximately anywhere between 10 and 14 thousand years. One consequence of our joint interaction or
coevolution is the idea that dogs or canines have become very adapt at reading our cues
and social clues. In addition, we too are really good at reading
their cues and social clues. And the purpose of this study was to examine
whether domestic dogs use human cues, particularly pointing as well as emotional or affect cues
and making a decision. For example, you go home and your dog has
taken your brand new shoes and chewed them up, you may say “No! Bad dog!” and you scold the dog, and often
times the dog will kind of lower their head and kind of cower and they may sulk away. The dog shaming things that we see on social
media, you’ll see the picture of the dog and it almost appears as though the dog looks
quote “guilty”. So we know that dogs are sensitive to our
emotional cues, but we wanted to know do they use these emotional cues as you can portray
a positive affect to one object with vocation, would they be more likely to explore that
vocation. One take-home message in this study is that
dogs are very good at following our pointing gesture. Dogs use our emotions, or what I previously
described as affect, to determine how quickly or how slowly they are going to explore an
unfamiliar location. This study highlights something that we all
know and believe and hold dear to our hearts, particularly those that are animal-lovers. There is a unique and special bond between
humans and dogs.

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