You might be able to trust your dog, but the real question is, does your dog trust you?
A recent study conducted by Akiko Takaoka, a researcher from Kyoto University in Japan has investigated whether dogs trust those who lie to them. The study consisted of an experiment made of three parts. The researcher wanted to find out if the dog is able to understand whether a person is trustworthy or not. According to John Bradshaw, dogs prefer this world to be certain.
The experiment was formed by dog owners having to point at a container with food. The container in fact was empty and therefore the dogs were tricked as they approached the container.
It is a previously known concept that dogs run to the object or direction what their owners point at as it is believed that dogs can understand human gestures. However, if these gestures are inconsistent, the dog would naturally become stressed and agitated.
The experiment was repeated for the third time and the dogs stopped following their owners pointing which suggests that they did not believe those who lied to them. There were 34 dogs that took part in the experiment and all of them provided the same results.
The Animal Cogntion has reported that dogs use their past experience to identify whether a person is reliable or not.
Akiko Takaoka plans to repeat his experiment on wolves as they are considered to be the closest relatives to dogs.
Another study that supports this was reported by the Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews where it was found that dogs take notice of the communication between their owners and strangers. The experiment was of dog owners asking for some strangers for some help. The dogs were able to avoid those who showed signs of mistreating their owner.
There is no doubt that dogs are intelligent creature and are much cleverer than we think. They are able to read our gestures and facial expressions and also follow social cues.
How clever do you think your dog is, let us know in the comments?!