New Study Says Dogs Can Tell When People Are Lying to Them
Your dog knows there are more scraps to share. And that it's not too cold outside for a walk.
In fact, researchers at the University of Vienna said this week dogs know when you're lying to them about almost anything, after studying 260 dogs and their ability to discern truthfulness in humans.
According to phys.org, which cited the study from Proceedings of the Royal Society B, researchers had an "unknown human" present a dog with two bowls of food, one containing a hidden treat. The human told the dog which bowl contained the treat, and the dog listened.
Round two was trickier. As reported by phys.org, researchers "allowed the dogs to watch as another unknown human moved the treat from one bowl to another while a second unknown human watched; in other cases, the second human was absent from the switch-up." That second person then delivered the two food bowls and told the dogs which contained the treat — but this time, the dogs didn't listen if the human wasn't present when the treat was moved.
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Additionally, "half of the dogs ignored the human advice when they knew from observation that the human was pointing at the wrong bowl," reports phys.org. The dogs were seemingly aware the humans, in that case, were lying.
Phys.org says researchers noted similar experiments have taken place on small children, macaques and chimpanzees in the past, and those three groups have actually been more trusting of lying adults. So are dogs really man's best friend, or have they been lying to us, too?