When it comes to food, dogs are suckers. It’s not like they even try to hide it! However, a new study out of Japan finds that your pooch likely knows when another human is being mean to you, and as a result, will opt not to take food from the offender. It sound incredible, but yes, your dog may actually love you more than treats (aw!)
A team of scientists tested three sets of 18 dogs all aged between 7 months and 14 years old. In each of the three scenarios, the dog’s owner approached them accompanied by two strangers. Next, the owner began struggling to open a box and asked the strangers for help. In one group, one of the strangers snubbed the owner, and in another, one stranger agreed to help while the other remained totally neutral. The scene was repeated in front of each dog four times. Afterwards, the two strangers offered the dogs food.
The Cool Result
When the pups were offered the food from the two strangers, they were more likely to take the treat from the neutral person than the person who had rejected their owners’ request for assistance. Study author Kazuo Fujita of Kyoto University says, “The animal apparently learns complex information from humans’ behavior in deciding its own actions. [We’ve] discovered for the first time that dogs make social and emotional evaluations of people regardless of their direct interest. This is one of the key factors in building a highly collaborative society, and this study shows dogs share that ability with humans.”
It’s cool that science has proven just how loyal a dog can be even though we kind of already knew that. Has there been a time your furry friend proved he had your back? Tell us in the comments below!