Dogs understand human perspective


A recent study reveals that dogs are much likely to steal food in the dark when humans cannot notice them, indicating they understand a human’s perspective. A series of experiments were conducted in different light conditions. In each test, the humans forbade the dog from eating the food. On conducting these tests, she noticed that the dog ate more food in the dark and that too quickly, as compared to when the room was lit.

The study had 42 female and 42 male domestic dogs who were 1-year-old or more. She made sure she selected those dogs that were comfortable without their owner, even if it was a dark room.

The report states that the tests were complex and involved many variables to rule out that dogs were basing their decisions on simple associative rules, for example, that dark means food.

It is not known how well dogs can see in the dark, but the study shows that they can differentiate between light and dark.

The researcher concludes saying, “The results of these tests suggest that dogs are deciding it’s safer to steal the food when the room is dark because they understand something of the human’s perspective.”

Sources: Study in the journal Animal Cognition via

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