Dogs are highly intelligent beings that are capable of a lot of things. We all know that they are capable of learning various tricks, answer to commands, express sympathy, and show emotions. What most of us don’t know is that dogs are also capable of passing judgments, most notably for us humans. It may sound out of this world—the thought of our dogs judging us is something we wouldn’t think possible—is possible.
The Study Which Proves How Dogs Judge Us
There is new research published describing dogs as highly judgmental, most notably towards rude ones. This research also found out that dogs are less likely take treats from a person who is a little off or unhelpful to their previous owners.
There are studies showing babies as young as one year old showing their innate morality, allowing them to judge other people, most notably the adults. These findings have paved the way for a team from Kyoto University (a national university located in Kyoto, Japan) to test if this so-called “innate morality” is also present in other species. Are other species capable of determining who among the humans are good? Can they be able to identify the important ones to others? Can different species tell if a person is rude or impolite?
To find out, and to test other theories regarding innate morality in other species, the team from Kyoto University ran a series of tests. They involved some pet dogs and some capuchin monkeys in testing their theories.
The team designed this test to see if the dogs or the monkeys can identify and separate helpful individuals from ones who don’t want to extend a helping hand.
The first thing they did was to let the dogs watch their owners as they struggle to take the lid off a jar. Then they watch as an actor comes into the picture to do one of the following: they are to either stand passively, do absolutely nothing, or they could help the owners. A total of three actors participated in this part of the test. Afterward, they were asked to offer treats to the participating dogs. Though the dogs did not have any clear choice between the helpful actor and the passive actor, they most definitely chose the passive one when asked to select from the passive actor and the other one who did not offer any help to their owner.
Not Only Dogs
The same test was done by participating capuchin monkeys. They reacted similar to the pet dogs. The monkeys were observed to ignore the rude actors who did not help. They were found to favor the ones who freely lent a helping hand. This study also shows the capability of dogs and monkeys to assess human social interactions—a striking aspect of their behaviors. This means dogs and monkeys are sensitive to cues, which involves human interaction and behavior.
These results made the researchers believe that both dogs and monkeys possess the innate morality that is true to babies. This proves that our dogs are more intellectual than they initially lead us on.
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