Are Dogs Smarter Than We Think?

March 13, 2019


All dog lovers have to admit that sometimes their fur baby is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. When you look is anything going on behind those eyes? For instance a puppy will run full speed into the coffee table when only yesterday he could run under it with no problem. Or the Great Dane that still thinks she can fit on your lap and the one that chases his own tail.


It’s these instances that add to the dog’s charm and you love them all the more for their antics. Despite their antics are we underestimating the intelligence of our dogs?


A study conducted in Japan might indicate just that. This study shows that dogs can put on their metaphorical Sherlock Holmes deerstalker to analyze how reliable a person is and whether or not to trust this person.


Scientists, studying 34 dogs, wanted to know if they (the dogs that is, not the scientists!) would trust a person who lied to them. In the experiment, dog owners would first point to a container with food. The dog would run to it.


Then a container without food would be pointed at. The dogs were tricked and approached the container.


The third time, the dogs would not follow the pointing hand. They did not believe the liars. All 34 dogs that took part in the experiment showed the same results. Dogs would use their previous experience to know that a person was unreliable.

Does that mean although dogs hold owners in a position of trust, it doesn’t take much to lose that trust?


Additional research states that dogs also control how other people interact with their owners. In an experiment, dog owners asked people for help. Afterward, the people were trying to give the dogs a treat.


The dogs wouldn’t take a treat from the people who behaved in a bad or rude way toward their owners. They preferred to be fed by those who helped while rude and aggressive people couldn’t earn the dogs’ trust.


Clearly read the communication between their owners and strangers. In an experiment, dog owners asked 2 groups of strangers for a little help. The dogs showed a good understanding of social rules. They avoided the people who mistreated their owners.


It’s been proven before that dogs are able to read our gestures and facial expressions. They can decipher our gestures and can also decide if they want to follow social cues. However, studies show that dogs mostly live in the present without having much consideration for the past or future.


If you mislead your dog, it will not trust or obey you. If your dog doesn’t like your friends, maybe there’s something wrong in your friendships?


Now we know more about our dogs and that they are much more intelligent than we were led to believe!

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