Do you think your dog could see straight through your lies in a texas hold-em game? Perhaps not, but according to a new study, dogs can tell when you’re lying in different situations.
In this study, researchers from the University of Vienna studied over 260 dogs from different breeds.
The dogs were coached to follow the advice of someone unfamiliar to them, and then they had to choose between two bowls, with one of the bowls containing a hidden treat.
Dogs Can Tell When You’re Lying!
For the first part of the study, the dogs received their reward if they followed the advice of the person, meaning the person told the dog exactly what bowl to choose, and the treat was hidden there.
Now another unfamiliar person joined the experiment, and while the dog and the first person from the test were watching, this new person then switched the treat to the other bowl.
The researchers then watched to see if the dogs changed their behavior when given advice.
In about half of the tests, the dogs ignored the second person’s advice when he was pointing at the wrong bowl, which, according to the scientists showed that the dogs were aware that they were being lied to.
In some of the cases, the second person wasn’t present when the treats were switched around. Instead, they showed up after the switch and then started guiding the dogs towards a specific bowl.
And the result was that the dogs just simply ignored this person’s wrongful advice.
What Previous Studies Showed
Researchers have previously done similar experiments with children under 5, chimps, and macaques. And in all those cases they were more willing to follow the advice of the lying human than the dogs were.
“We can conclude that the study is the first of its kind to show scientific evidence that dogs are able to tell truths from lies in a changing-the-location experiment.”
“We can conclude that the study is the first of its kind to show scientific evidence that dogs are able to tell truths from lies in a changing-the-location experiment.”– The researchers behind the study
The researchers hope that future studies might help reveal even more about how dogs have learned how to separate truths from lies.
The study has been published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
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