How Dogs Can Recognize a Bad Person (And Other Dog Incredible Abilities Explained)
From the random stranger that your well-behaved dog barks at in the street, to the neighbor that your pet refuses to go near, sometimes it seems dogs just know when someone is a ‘bad’ or ‘good’ person. Stick around till the end of this video as we dig up the dirt on your dog's incredible abilities.
Dogs can detect a mean person According to a study published in the journal of Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, dogs can tell when someone is mean to you! In three different scenarios, a dog owner was trying to open a container that was tightly sealed with an actor standing next to them. The first actor helped open the container, the second was passive, and the third outright refused to help. Scientists found that the dogs were much more likely to accept a treat from the actor who tried to help and showed kindness toward the owner. Most dogs also accepted food from the passive actor, but they were not willing to trust the person who didn’t lend a hand. Dogs can detect liars Another study conducted in Japan followed a similar experiment to find out if dogs can recognize an untrustworthy person. In this experiment, the scientists placed two containers near the dogs. One had treats inside, but the other was empty. In the first test, a person pointed to the container that concealed a treat, but the second time, the person pointed to the empty container instead. The dogs were happy to find the treat the first round, but were disappointed when they found out they were lied to in the second time. Then, the third round, the person pointed to the container with the treat again. However, that time, the dogs did not go for it. That person had been untrustworthy and deceitful in the second round, and the dog remembered that. Dogs can remember their owner’s scent forever Dogs can remember the scent of their owners for their entire life. A dog’s memory is so complex that they will remember emotions associated with their owner or a person they met. The association of how that person made the dog feel remains stored in the dog’s brain. When a dog recognizes a particular scent associated with a human that has brought them joy, a particular portion of their brain is triggered, and they remember them. Studies have shown that an owner’s scent activates the pleasure centers in the dog’s brain. It’s similar to the way the human brain responds to the perfume or cologne of a loved one. Dogs can interpret facial expressions. In a touchscreen experiment in Austria, scientists put dogs to the test. When the dogs were shown angry or happy faced pictures of people they hadn’t seen before, they were still able to tell the difference and earn that reward. The scientists say that the experiment proves that dogs can discriminate between the two human expressions. Dogs had a natural aversion to pressing their noses against pictures of angry faces. This means that our furry friends have some knowledge about the meaning behind human expressions. Dogs can smell bad intentions If your dog barks at some people, but not the others, it could be that your dog picks up on subconscious signals you send about those people. Outwardly, you may be being welcoming and friendly to a person, but your dog will notice tiny, subconscious signals that you are not completely comfortable around that person. Your dog can sense when you are nervous because your body produces certain stress-related chemicals and hormones that have distinctive odors. On that note, remember that dogs can smell fear. In a study of 694 people, the scientists found a link between an individual’s emotional state and their likelihood of getting bitten. Confident and emotionally stable people didn't get bitten nearly as often as those who feel anxious around intimidating dogs. Dogs can read your body language. According to animal behavior specialists, canines will pick up on every move a dog or human makes. This is because dogs rely on canine body language to assess their own safety when they are around other dogs. Dogs can smell serious illnesses Believe it or not, dogs can detect cancer. Simply by sniffing someone’s body. A study conducted at the University of California Davis has shown that dogs can detect Cancer-affected tissues out of many samples. Dogs can even be life-savers for people with diabetes. A dog’s super nose can also predict seizures, and migraines, and can detect malaria and Parkinson’s disease. Now, let’s talk about why dogs bark at some dogs, but not the others. While humans communicate using words, dogs mainly communicate through their body language and scent. Your dog may bark at some dogs because they show threatening body language and have an off-putting scent.