Research Confirms What We Knew All Along: Dogs Really Can Sniff Out Bad People From Good People

Does your dog trust you? A recent study shows that dogs form their opinions based on how reliable a person is.

A recent study done indicates that a dog can analyze the reliability of a person. From there, a dog's reaction to a person can tell you whether it's okay to trust them.

The study tested whether dogs trusted people who lied to them.

Conducted by Akiko Takaoka of Kyoto University, the study divided dogs into three parts. The researchers wanted to see whether a dog could understand the trustworthiness of a person. They claim the study has far-reaching implications for behavioral studies shown of dogs. Dogs prefer that the world be certain rather than uncertain.

At first, the experiment involved tricking dogs.

The owner of a dog would point to a container holding food. Naturally, the dog would run to the food. After this, the owner would point to an identical container, only this one held no food. The dogs were fooled into running to this container as well.

Dogs can understand the gestures their humans make. Your canine pal knows to run to an object that you point to. But when the human's gestures become inconsistent, the dog is likely to exhibit signs of nervousness and stress.

After the deception, when owners pointed for a third time, the dog would not follow them.

These dogs didn't believe the lying owners. Of the thirty-four dogs taking part in the experiment, all showed similar results. Dogs learned about the reliability of a person based on their previous experience. Mr. Takaoka now has plans to continue the research with wolves instead of dogs, since wolves are the closest relative to dogs.

Other research shows that dogs have control over the way new people interact with a dog's owner. There was one experiment conducted in which a dog owner would ask people for help. After, these people tried to give the owner's dog a treat. The dogs refused to take treats from people who were rude or mean to their owners, but they would take treats from people who helped. Aggressive and rude people weren't trusted by the dogs.

Another study illustrates that dogs read the emotional interactions between strangers and their owners.

Dog owners in this experiment asked two separate groups of strangers to help them. The dogs understood the rules of social interactions. They avoided interacting with people who were unkind to their owners.

This study implies that dogs are even more intelligent than we thought! They can easily learn to decipher human gestures, and they also make decisions about whether or not to follow a social cue. Studies do show that most dogs live in the moment, and they don't think much about the future or the past.

We here at APost were fascinated by these studies! What about you? Does your dog know a bad egg from a good one? Show this to a friend who knew this all along!