If a dog likes rib bones and the owner likes chicken, would the dog who went out with the owner hesitate between a rib and chicken restaurant? Or, will I beg in front of the rib house and appeal to the owner?
Dogs are more likely to stifle their cravings if their owners show frequent signs that they like chicken, a new study found. The dog’s cognitive behavior is not only dependent on his own desires, but is also influenced by the owner’s preferences.
Researchers at the ELTE University in Budapest, Hungary, published a study in the latest issue of Psychology Frontier, an international scientific journal, proving that the cognitive behavior of dogs is influenced by their owners’ liking and dislike.
The study of dogs gives us a better understanding of how the human mind has evolved and helps policy makers legislate for the care and protection of animals. In this respect, whether dogs empathize with their owners’ thoughts and feelings has been a major topic of dog research, but there has been no definitive method to measure this.
“So far, there have been many studies on the ability of dogs to read human minds, but none of the studies have given a definitive answer,” said Adam Microsi, head of animal behavior at ELTE. “In previous studies, we knew that dogs respond to human preferences, but we overlooked whether they suppress their own desires,” said Professor Enico Cubinu. I was trying to see if I could take it,” he explained.
The researchers took the hint from the baby. At 18 months of age, most babies know that their preferences may differ from other people’s preferences, and how people express their feelings through emotions. A 14-month-old baby lacks that ability. Do dogs have that ability?
The researchers first asked the dogs whether they liked a dog toy or a bracelet, and of course all dogs preferred the toy. The owner had a bright expression on the bracelet and expressed dissatisfaction with the toy. When the owner asked to retrieve the item without any hints, all the dogs promptly retrieved the toy. Flora Suzanto, a co-researcher, explained that “the dog could not differentiate between its own preferences and the owner’s preferences, or it could not contain the ‘false reaction’.”
The researchers did not stop there. In the case of ‘getting things’, the object was within the dog’s action range, so the dog had no motivation to act while watching the owner’s eyes. Rather, we came to the conclusion that by placing objects outside the dog’s range, the dog could recognize its owner’s preferences and see if they were regulating it with their own needs.
The researchers placed the objects on top of a laboratory cabinet that did not reach the dog’s eyes. 51 dogs were divided into ‘needs concordant’ and ‘control’ groups. The researchers expressed satisfaction with toys, and dissatisfaction with frowns on bracelets, similar to dogs’ desires. The control group was inverted. And when the dogs were brought to the closet to look at the objects, the dogs in the concordant group looked only at toys, while the dogs in the control group looked at the toys and bracelets alike. It has been proven that the owner’s preferences influence the dog’s cognitive behavior. Dogs have the abilities of an 18-month-old baby.