We like to think of dogs as human’s best friend. But what do our dogs think of us? And what does the science say about our treatment of them?
In 2020, a group of scientists at a renowned dog lab at the Medical University in Vienna tried to answer these questions.
Not surprisingly they found that our dogs love us and are generally motivated to please us.... there was a lot of evidence to support this:
- Dogs Read Our Faces and Listen to Our Voices. For example, humans open their mouth and show their teeth while laughing, but dogs express aggression by showing their teeth. Dogs have taught themselves that the two expressions mean different things :)
- Dogs are sensitive to human gestures, can learn their meaning, and seem eager to cooperate. This is why we are able to train them to be working dogs that can help the disabled, perform search & rescue and even sniff out Covid-19.
- Dogs think we are their family. The relationship between companion dogs and their human caregivers bears a remarkable resemblance to the parent-infant attachment bond
Adorable is it not? But their findings about the humans were a bit disappointing. We'll share those in part 2 of this blog.