According to a new study, dogs can read people’s minds and “recognize their intents.”
DOGS can tell the difference between planned actions and blunders, according to a recent study that looked at how the dogs reacted when food rewards were taken away.
The dogs reacted differently if a bite of food was withheld purposefully or accidentally, according to the study.
A total of 51 dogs from various breeds were gathered at the Max Planck Institute in Germany and evaluated under three distinct settings. The human tester was separated from the dogs by a transparent barrier, and the dogs were fed small pieces of food through a gap in the barrier.
The “unwilling” condition was one of the three in which the human tester immediately withdrew the reward and placed it in front of herself instead.
The second condition, known as the “unable-clumsy” condition, had the tester attempting to pass the reward through but dropping the treat by accident to fool the dogs.
In the last condition, known as “unable-blocked,” the tester would pretend to pass the treat through but be unable to do so since the breach in the barrier was then closed up.
The treat was always on the tester’s side of the barrier in all three scenarios.
According to the researchers, the more the dogs understood the human tester’s intentions, the longer they would wait before approaching the food they were initially denied.
They had to wait roughly 33% longer on average.
If they understood, they were also more inclined to sit or lie down and stop wagging their tails.
According to the researchers, this demonstrates that dogs can tell the difference between intentional and unintentional activities.
This disproves the popular belief that dogs can only understand orders from humans.
The study demonstrates yet another method in which animals can develop their bonds with humans.
It was previously debatable if dogs could genuinely comprehend what humans desired.
“This shows dogs may indeed be able to identify people’ intentions,” said Dr. Hannes Rakoczy of Gottingen University in Germany.
This test is a key component of what psychologists call the Theory of Mind, which has long been thought to be a uniquely human trait.
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