Every pet parent has, at some point of time, tricked their dogs with a treat to take them for a bath or come out from under the bed... But make sure you deliver on the promise because dogs don’t take too kindly to being lied to, says research on the topic.
In a study published in the journal Animal Cognition, a team led by Akiko Takaoka of Kyoto University, Japan, demonstrated that dogs can identify liars and don’t trust them after a while. When dogs interact with human beings, they also try to determine the nature and personality of each person. They use this information to predict the future behaviour of specific people, and adjust their behaviour accordingly.
Keep the faith
In this study it was observed that dogs approach almost everyone in a friendly and trusting manner, but with time, they trust only those who don’t lie to them. The research also shows that dogs keep track of people’s behaviour and remember them for it.
Takoaka said it was surprising to learn that dogs “devalued the reliability of a human” when being lied to. “Dogs have more sophisticated social intelligence than we thought. This social intelligence evolved selectively in their long life history with humans,” he said.
Many researches have proven that dogs understand human gestures and expressions. When commands and gestures are inconsistent, dogs tend to get stressed and nervous.
Dogs vs kids
Similar research has been done on children as well and it is observed that while three-year-old children were still trusting of people who lied to them, four-year-olds were more sceptical of such people; thus showing that dogs somewhat have the similar mental ability of a four-year-old child.
Research also showed that our dogs are protective towards us is not a far-fetched thought or just a feeling. Science confirms it. The experiment also showed that dogs don’t like it if people are rude to their owners or treat their owners badly. It shows that dogs can clearly read the interaction between the owner and a stranger. Depending on that, the dog decides to trust the stranger. In this experiment, dogs even refused to take treats from people who ill-treated their owners.
Dogs prefer the world to be in a certain way and are a great judge of character. This superpower of your dog can help you understand whom to trust and whom be wary of. As most pet owners say, “we don’t trust someone if our dog doesn’t”.
— Swati Tandon, pet expert
Q. I have a 51-day-old black female Labrador. At times, she digs her teeth on anything she can get hold of. Can anything be done to stop this? - Vaishnavi Shree, Jharkhand
It is normal for puppies to be “mouthie”. Some puppies may also play-bite hands and fingers. To the puppy, this action may seem acceptable if they have been allowed to do it elsewhere. Do not encourage this habit. If she tries to bite, say “no”, and distract her attention with a toy. Reward her with praise for chewing on appropriate items.
— Dr Umesh Kallahalli
Our very first pet, Jenny, came to our lives three months after we got married. She’s the most adorable, loving and caring creature on Earth! We can’t imagine even a single day without her.
— Dhinu & Anjana
Shiro and his frog friend
This is Shiro. He is a year old and loves to make new friends. His most unusual friend is a frog named Tody! Tody visits Shiro every night at our backyard. Both enjoy each other’s company. Shiro and Tody’s friendship is an unbreakable one and they cannot live without each other.
— Artha Chowta, Mangalore
Whatever is your creature companion, we are here to listen to you. Send your photos, queries and stories to firstname.lastname@example.org