HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Latest Breaking News (Forum) » Dogs understand human per...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:42 PM

Dogs understand human perspective, say researchers

Source: BBC News

Dogs are more capable of understanding situations from a human's point of view than has previously been recognised, according to researchers.

They found dogs were four times more likely to steal food they had been forbidden, when lights were turned off so humans in the room could not see.

This suggested the dogs were able to alter their behaviour when they knew their owners' perspective had changed.

The study, published in Animal Cognition, conducted tests on 84 dogs.
The experiments had been trying to find whether dogs could adapt their behaviour in response to the changed circumstances of their human owners.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-21411249



Looks like humans have trouble understanding others' perspectives more so than dogs.

52 replies, 5772 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 52 replies Author Time Post
Reply Dogs understand human perspective, say researchers (Original post)
hue Feb 2013 OP
BainsBane Feb 2013 #1
MynameisBlarney Feb 2013 #2
Duer 157099 Feb 2013 #3
Neoma Feb 2013 #15
Gormy Cuss Feb 2013 #26
Neoma Feb 2013 #38
obamanut2012 Feb 2013 #27
Neoma Feb 2013 #36
Rhiannon12866 Feb 2013 #44
markpkessinger Feb 2013 #29
Occulus Feb 2013 #33
awoke_in_2003 Feb 2013 #34
Auntie Bush Feb 2013 #4
get the red out Feb 2013 #5
samsingh Feb 2013 #6
hue Feb 2013 #18
RebelOne Feb 2013 #21
LineLineNew Reply *
ronnie624 Feb 2013 #43
KurtNYC Feb 2013 #7
TrogL Feb 2013 #16
markpkessinger Feb 2013 #35
DBoon Feb 2013 #41
docgee Feb 2013 #47
Scuba Feb 2013 #8
Hissyspit Feb 2013 #14
Blue_Tires Feb 2013 #22
Still Blue in PDX Feb 2013 #49
ashling Feb 2013 #9
Myrina Feb 2013 #10
1monster Feb 2013 #11
Kalidurga Feb 2013 #12
maryland native Feb 2013 #13
markpkessinger Feb 2013 #30
hue Feb 2013 #17
Thor_MN Feb 2013 #39
Auntie Bush Feb 2013 #19
IDemo Feb 2013 #20
Paladin Feb 2013 #23
Cleita Feb 2013 #24
xtraxritical Feb 2013 #25
KTinaY2008 Feb 2013 #28
xtraxritical Feb 2013 #31
wellstone dem Feb 2013 #32
Sunlei Feb 2013 #37
Beacool Feb 2013 #40
womanofthehills Feb 2013 #42
Rhiannon12866 Feb 2013 #45
beevul Feb 2013 #46
Evasporque Feb 2013 #48
prole_for_peace Feb 2013 #50
Lint Head Feb 2013 #51
Lint Head Feb 2013 #52

Response to hue (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:45 PM

1. absolutely

Dogs watch your every move. Even as puppies they pay closer attention to adults than do any other animal. It's because we provide their food and care. My dog knows my daily habits, when she hears something promising, and when she's about to get a walk or something else fun.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hue (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:45 PM

2. What the?

Those sneaky, backstabbin bastages!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hue (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:47 PM

3. Anyone with a dog already knows this

Cats can also do this, but researchers found that most cats don't give a shit what their owners say or think.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Duer 157099 (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:25 PM

15. My cat literately walks around like she's the boss.

Never seen another cat walk like that actually... But then, this cat licks strangers faces and loves to watch things fall off shelves, and swats at my food...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Neoma (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 06:46 PM

26. Does she swat you too?

If I don't get the refill to the cat's food dish fast enough he'll swat my leg as if to say "Snap to it!"

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Gormy Cuss (Reply #26)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 09:37 PM

38. No, but she runs up to my husband and waves her paws around like she's doing karate moves, then runs

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Neoma (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:16 PM

27. I think we have the same cat

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #27)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 09:35 PM

36. Is she obsessed with drains and the water going down them?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Neoma (Reply #36)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:14 AM

44. My aunt's cat, Maggie, was like that

She was fascinated with watching the toilet flushing, LOL, would sit there and move her head to follow the swirling water...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Neoma (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:41 PM

29. She is the boss -- you just don't know it yet! ;) n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Neoma (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 08:36 PM

33. Well, you know the saying.

Dogs have masters; cats have staff.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Occulus (Reply #33)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 09:06 PM

34. When you feed a dog...

it thinks "you gave me food. You must be a god". When you feed a cat it thinks "you gave me food. I must be a god".

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hue (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:53 PM

4. I trust my dog's every move when I'm there but should I leave the room

a snack just might disappear off the end table.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Auntie Bush (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:56 PM

5. Absolutely!

My dog will see me looking at the computer and sneak around and steal a sock.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hue (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:57 PM

6. i love animals and i think they are far more sentient than people realize or accept

that's one of the reason's i'm a vegetarian.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to samsingh (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:33 PM

18. I agree with You & Thanks for respecting their lives!!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to samsingh (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:12 PM

21. Agree. That is one of the reasons I am a vegetarian. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to samsingh (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 01:10 AM

43. *

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hue (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:04 PM

7. This seems more like a training thing than an understanding that our

eyes are not as light sensitive as theirs.

Many people train their dogs to wait for an "ok" before eating.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to KurtNYC (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:30 PM

16. My three dogs understand each other around food

The cat likes wet cat food, but only the gravy, leaving the rest. I divvy it up into three portions in the bowl. The dogs hear th is and come running. I will call each dog in turn, they come get their portion, then leave. If one dog hasn't made it, I will tell one dog to go fetch the missing dog. Only the dog addressed leaves, only the dog fetched comes back.

And if anyone thinks dogs can't count, show a dog five treats, put them in your pocket, give the dog four, then attempt to get anything else accomplished that day.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TrogL (Reply #16)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 09:25 PM

35. More than likely it isn't that the dog can count . . .

. . . but that he can smell the remaining treat in your pocket.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to markpkessinger (Reply #35)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:50 PM

41. Science proves dogs CAN count

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2619-lab-tricks-show-dogs-can-count.html

"To test the idea, Young and his colleague Rebecca West of De Montfort University in Lincoln, UK, borrowed a technique that has been used to show that five-month-old babies can count.
Sleight of hand

A number of toy dolls are placed in front of a baby and then a screen is raised to hide them. The infant then watches as some dolls are added or taken away before the screen is lowered to reveal the final result.

If the experimenter has played a trick and surreptitiously added or taken away a doll, the baby looks at the dolls for much longer, presumably because he or she had done the calculation and the number of dolls contradicts the baby's expectations.

Young and West repeated the experiment on 11 mongrels using doggie treats. Sure enough, the dogs stared at the bowls for much longer when the sums did not add up. "

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to markpkessinger (Reply #35)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 09:40 AM

47. They can count, my dog knows how many tennis balls are in the yard. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hue (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:04 PM

8. "Well, duh" said dog owners everywhere.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:25 PM

14. You beat me to it.

And, frankly, cats, too. Not the same as dogs, but I'm amazed at how much more intelligent and aware my cats are then what people generally think.

It's becoming clear that many animals are more intelligent than ever previously thought.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:17 PM

22. +1000

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 11:24 AM

49. My first thought, too. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hue (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:06 PM

9. Sounds like they found out why Coyotes hunt at night

they know that their prey can't see them as well as in the daylight.

or maybe

dogs are concerned about their weight and how they look in the mirror in the light

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hue (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:09 PM

10. Well I do agree but I don't think the study proved it ...

... read the article a couple times and it just didn't convince me.

Being the mom to 4 furr-kids and foster mom to over a dozen, I gotta say based on experience, yeah - they get it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hue (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:17 PM

11. Cats, too. I have seven cats, one of which is on a special diet because she

was losing weight on what the other cats were eating.

As long as I'm watching, one of my cats will not try to take the food away from the special diet cat. But let me look away for any reason, even if I am still standing in the room, and he is up in a flash at the other cat's food. If he knows I'm watching, he just sits there waiting for his chance...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hue (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:18 PM

12. It's not just food...

When I am with my dog she doesn't bark at anything. When she things I am not watching or can't hear her she barks at just about everything, squirrels, rabbits, other dogs, a leaf falling...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hue (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:23 PM

13. But sometimes they violate rules with a noble reason

I am a dog fanatic and love observing their nature.

One thing that completely amazes me is when a dog that is well trained is intentionally disobedient for the right reason.

I draw your attention to a guide dog for the blind.

The dog must obey its handler, but when it learns of a clear hazard, it is willfully disobedient.

The blind handler wishes to cross a street and the dog realizes a hazard approaches.

The dog refuses to put the person in danger!!!

Wow!

Dogs are so sensitive.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to maryland native (Reply #13)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:47 PM

30. An ex-partner of mine's father . . .

. . . was the training director for Guiding Eyes for the Blind, and his wife the lead trainer. They truly are extraordinary animals.

One thing I found interesting was that they actually did not prefer German Shepherds for the job. The reason was that German Shepherds had a high burn-out rate because they were almost TOO smart -- they had a tendency to take on too much responsibility, and after a time became nervous wrecks. They actually much preferred to train Golden Retrievers and Labs.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hue (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:31 PM

17. just one among many examples...

I wanted to cut more rhubarb for my cherry rhubarb pie so I thought I'd run out to the garden for a few moments to pull a few more stalks. The pie dough had already been rolled out. As soon as I got back into the kitchen our black Lab Missy had taken the pie dough and was gulping it down. She looked at me as I entered the door with Her head hanging down in guilt/shame yet I swear Her lips were curled a tad with a little hidden smile. ( I hadn't said a word to Her yet to initiate the guilt.)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hue (Reply #17)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 09:59 PM

39. There is a NOVA episode that explorers (among other things) the "guilt" look from dogs

They had a pet owner bring their dog into a room and tell the dog not to take the treat on the floor, then leave the room. The observer would call the owner back when the treat was gone. The dog would immediately give the "guilt" look when the owner came back into the room having hard that the dog took the treat. Only thing is, the treat was taken by the observer, not the dog.

Their conclusion is that dogs have no sense of guilt, they just know what behavior gets them in the least amount of trouble when their owners are not happy with them.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hue (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:34 PM

19. Welcome to DU.

Have you checked out our pet's group? It's cool!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hue (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:35 PM

20. My dog's response to food left on countertop and no humans around:

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hue (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:20 PM

23. Brought To You By The Painfully Obvious Facts Bureau. (nt)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hue (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:26 PM

24. We got one that steals the cats' food when no one is looking and she

knows she is being naughty.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hue (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 06:35 PM

25. My dog actually tries to talk but his mouth just can't do it.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to xtraxritical (Reply #25)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:31 PM

28. Is your dog Husky?

I have a Husky mix and he is very "talkative".

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to KTinaY2008 (Reply #28)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:55 PM

31. No he's a mutt that looks alot like a small (90lb) St. Bernard, he's very very smart and tries

 

to move his mouth to talk, I know he would if he could. About 30 years ago I did have a Husky and she knew the command "speak" very well.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hue (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 08:23 PM

32. My dogs watched for squirrels out my daughter's bedroom window

and then would come whine to me in a signal that they needed to go outside. I'd open the door and they'd go barreling out. Then 20 minutes later they'd need to go out again. It took me days to figure out why they were doing that. (My daughter had left for college and so her door was left open unlike before.) I finally realized what was going on, closed that door, and all was calm again.

But I was amazed at the multi-step strategy they had figured out.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hue (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 09:36 PM

37. dogs do understand their humans and can adapt their lives to fit in better.

so do a lot of other companion animals.

I think it's wondrous, they all have different personalities just like people.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hue (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:06 PM

40. They wasted money on a study?

Anyone who ever owned a dog could have told them about their pooch's antics. Dogs know perfectly well when they did something that they weren't supposed to do.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hue (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 01:00 AM

42. My dog got jealous of my baby kitten

I had to bottle feed an orphan baby kitten who was a week old and my dog became very jealous. My dog kept taking the kitten gently in his mouth far from the house. Every time I couldn't find the kitten, I'd say to my dog "Where is baby?" and he would take me to the end of his run or down the hill - wherever he left the kitten. The poor kitten was always all wet from my dog's mouth but unhurt. I had 3 other cats that my dog was fine with but he was really jealous of my time spent with the kitten.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to womanofthehills (Reply #42)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:33 AM

45. Wow! That's a fascinating story! Did he change when the kitten grew up?

This reminds me of my dog, Barney. I adopted him at age 10 or 11, a cocker spaniel who had been a "stud dog" at a "commercial kennel" and fortunately was rescued when he got too old and they didn't need him anymore. *sigh*

I was told he needed a "special home," since he wasn't housebroken and hadn't lived with people, spent his entire life on a kennel run. He was rescued by a wonderful woman who worked with him for three months before he was available for adoption.

Barney was truly remarkable. Everything was new to him, would get excited when he saw a lawn sprinkler or tree stump and was terrified of cars. But he adapted immediately, was the best dog I ever had for not having accidents in the house and he had the most wonderful temperament.

Strangely, he seemed to have no affinity for other animals. I adopted a second rescue cocker from the same woman 2 1/2 years later and two cats five years later, took my uncle's two cats when he died. Barney completely ignored them, even the sweet little cat who seemed to prefer dogs and would try to play with him, but he'd just walk away. But he showed great affection to most humans and he was just so loveable.

My second cocker would absolutely refuse to go out if it was raining or even if it was about to. One time I took her out and walked her all over before the rain started since I knew she'd refuse to go later.

And when I finally brought her in, her bed was all wet. I really couldn't figure it out. It finally dawned on me much later when the same thing happened again and I saw it. Barney, who never went in the house, purposely urinated on her bed! This was the only time I ever saw him act like this. I was "his person" and he was jealous and he was letting me know...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hue (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:58 AM

46. Absolutely.

They should look at american eskimo dogs in particular, for this.

LOL.

(Eski people, you know what I'm getting at, and you know its true lol.)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hue (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 10:46 AM

48. bullshit....dogs see with thier nose, are predators and opprotunistic scavangers...

turning the lights out tips the advantage in the dogs favour and they can easily locate and scavenge a meal in the dark.

It is not that dogs understand a human perspective...it is that they know what they can do in the dark...the lights go out, the situation changes and the dog tests the limits...when there is no response from the human they proceed.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hue (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 11:59 AM

50. I watched a show on dogs that showed this.

There was one experiment where the owner sat in a chair, had the dog sit and placed a treat on the floor. They told the dog not to eat it. The poor dogs would look at the treat, look at the owner, look at the treat....but the dogs did not eat the treat.

Then they did it again but had the owner close their eyes. The dogs would look at the treat, look at the owners and then *gulp* treat gone.

It was fascinating.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hue (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 12:08 PM

51. So.... that's where my beer and summer sausage has been going! That little sneak!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hue (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 12:13 PM

52. Now they go joy riding when the owner isn't looking.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread