» Latest News » Your dog really can understand you afterall

Your dog really can understand you afterall

Posted by: David Howells  Date: 12/02/2013   Category: Latest News

Dogs have been shown to understand situations from a human’s perspective more than previously thought, dailyecho.co.uk reports.

New research has suggested that dogs change their behaviour when circumstances for their owners have altered.

The study involved testing what dogs do when the lights have been turned off and whether their behaviour changes. The test involved forbidding dogs food, then seeing whether or not they go for it once the lights had been switched off. In most cases, the animals did indeed leave their dog beds make a break for the forbidden food once they were under the cover of darkness.

This change of behaviour when circumstances alter, researchers from the University of Portsmouth said, proved that dogs can think of situations from a person’s perspective and change their behaviour accordingly.

Commenting on the results, the researchers claimed it was unlikely that with the lights switched off the dogs simply forgot that their owners were in the room and was instead proof of their “flexible understanding. Furthermore, conditions were staged in such a way that variations stopped the dogs making false associations, such as the belief that sudden darkness is instantly associated with them being fed.

“Humans constantly attribute certain qualities and emotions to other living things,” lead researcher Dr Juliane Kaminski told bbc.co.uk.

“We know that our own dog is clever or sensitive, but that’s us thinking, not them. These results suggest humans might be right, where dogs are concerned, but we still can’t be completely sure if the results mean dogs have a truly flexible understanding of the mind and others’ minds. It has always been assumed that only humans had this ability.”