If you have ever stepped on your dog’s tail by accident, you would know how it feels to be sorry but helpless at the same time because you can’t make them understand that it was unintentional.
However, one thing all dog owners should remember is that canines know more about their owners than their owners think they do. Research has now shown that dogs are able to tell when their owners did something intentionally and unintentionally, yes, you read that right! These furry geniuses can tell if you stepped on their tail by accident.
Previously, studies had shown that dogs could tell track the attention span of humans, so they know about when to sneak out food or respond to gestures of pointing. They could also pick up cues and predict forthcoming actions, meaning that they know they’re going for a walk when you pick up a leash, but it was still unclear whether they could understand human intentions.
During the research, researchers tested dogs under three conditions. In the first condition, they offered a treat but threw it ‘accidentally’ on their side of the screen, and said ‘oops!’. In an another, they tried to offer the dogs a treat but the gap through which they could had been blocked. In the third condition, the researcher offered treats but withdrew them instantly.
The result of all three was the same; the dogs were not getting treats for different reasons. The results were based on the actions of 51 dogs, it was revealed that the dogs waited longer before walking around the screen and getting the treat by themselves in the case when the researcher withdrew the treat immediately. They didn’t wag their tail, wait for the treat or lie down in this case as well.
In the other cases, the dogs showed different reaction, this showed that dogs were able to tell the difference between intentional and unintentional actions!
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