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Scientists have finally proven what every dog owner knows – our canine friends read our facial expressions like dedicated detectives.
Dogs don’t just depend on verbal commands to figure out what we want, a new study shows. Instead, they look into our eyes and try to guess what we’re up to, according to the study published in Current Biology.
Hungarian researchers showed that dogs will even follow our gaze if we make eye contact with them first.
This study “reveals that dogs are receptive to human communication in a manner that was previously only attributed only to 6-month-old human infants,” said study co-author Jozsef Topal a researcher at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
Topal and his colleagues studied 29 canines. The dogs were shown a movie of a woman who sometimes would stare straight at the dog and call out to him and then turn her head to stare at an object next to her. The other times the woman would just turn her head and stare at the object.
For the most part, dogs who were addressed both through eye contact and with a verbal greeting tended to follow the gaze of the woman in the movie. When no eye contact was made, the dogs didn’t follow the gaze of the woman.
There have been similar experiments in babies, Topal said. And the dogs are behaving just as 6-month-olds do.
“When they learn verbal commands, they are learning a foreign language,” said the 48-year-old dog trainer from Hollister, Calif. “Dogs normally speak through body language and facial expression. It’s more natural to them.
“If you’ve ever watched dogs at a dog park, you’ve seen it. Within 30 seconds of the time they enter the park a huge amount of information has passed back and forth between the new dog and the ones already in the park. They’re exchanging looks, observing eyes and body posture. In seconds they know who is dominant and who is submissive.”
That skill just transfers to relationships with their owners, Jones said. “If people are upset and crying the dog sees the upset facial expression and also smells the adrenaline,” she added. “Dogs read all of that.”
Originally posted by ElOmen
Oh now I get why they run in front of moving vehicles....
Not just dogs, lot of animals can see into your eyes and sense emotions. Dogs are best mentioned because tigers are hard domesticate.
Dogs possess a two-year-old child's capacity to understand human pointing gestures, with dogs requiring next to zero learning time to figure out the visual communication, according to two recent studies