What breeds of dogs could thrive without humans

Dogs: four-legged loyalty

Dogs are world champions in recognizing the emotions and moods of their owners. Not a single word has to be spoken, the four-legged friends understand us "just like that". Science has now confirmed what many dog ​​owners have always suspected.

Studies have shown that dogs can interpret human facial expressions and gestures and are thus empathetic. And they are loyal to their owner. The four-legged friends are even able to assess moods between people and react accordingly. Other people who abuse their tone of voice towards their owner or who are simply rude do not like dogs at all.

More on this: My dog ​​smells my mood

Dogs recognize rude behavior

As part of the study, the researchers had 54 dogs watch as their owners tried to get an item out of the box. The experimental set-up stipulated that people would need help to do this. A "neutral" person was also present in the room for all experiments.

The human-dog teams were divided into 3 groups:

  • In the first group, the dog owner, while watching his dog, asked a second person to help open the pack. With success, the project succeeded in pairs.
  • The second group was made up of non-helpers: while the dog was watching, its owner asked a second person for help. However, she immediately turned her back on the person seeking help without helping.
  • In the control group, the packaging was not opened successfully either. The second person turned around without asking for help first.

At the end of the experiment, everyone involved offered the dog a treat. With the following result:

  • In the helper group, a majority of the dogs accepted the treats from both helpers and neutral people.
  • With all other "non-helpers" the dogs preferred the treats of the neutral person and avoided those who had not previously helped their owners.

Dogs take a clear position

With this experiment, the researchers have thus provided evidence that dogs can draw conclusions from human reactions. And not only in the direct interaction between dog and owner. They react with rejection to people who behave improperly to their master (or mistress).

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Close ties

The reason for this unshakable loyalty is probably the long history of development together. In the past 15,000 to 11,000 years of evolution from wolf to dog, animals have developed strategies that make it easier for both species to coexist.

More on this: Why dogs are good for the soul

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Astrid Leitner

Editor at netdoktor.at