Humans can read dog’s facial expression, scientist says
Humans can actually understand the emotion their dog is feeling, just from reading their facial expression, according to telegraph.co.uk. Research has shown even people who aren’t familiar with dogs can understand their moods.
The study, carried out by Dr Tina Bloom and Professor Harris Friedman from Walden University in Minneapolis, asked participants to study pictures of a dog pulling different expressions and identify the mood of the animal. 88 per cent correctly identified the expression of happiness, with 70 per cent understanding anger.
Dr Bloom said: “Although humans often think of themselves as disconnected or even isolated from nature, our study suggests that there are patterns that connect, and one of these is in the form of emotional communication.”
To get the dog to pull the different faces, it was shown different objects, provoking a reaction. Dog clippers caused the Belgian shepherd police dog to prick up its ears and show the whites of its eyes, a natural expression of fear.
The dog was praised to gain a happy expression and shown a jack-in-the-box to create surprise.
According to dailymail.co.uk, the participants who had minimal experience with dogs were better at noticing negative emotions such as disgust and anger. The researchers believe this may be because reading a dog’s face is a natural reaction, rather than a learned skill.