More proof that dogs are SO smart.

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
December 23, 2020

This holiday season we all need a boost as the coronavirus pandemic wears on and the future remains uncertain. Today, that much-needed lift is coming in the form of an oh-so-sweet dog study published in the scientific journal Animal Cognition, which provided evidence that dogs can pick out their fellow four-legged friends amongst photos of humans and other animals.

Although the research was published in 2013, it recently came back into the limelight when a PhD candidate in clinical psychology, Benjamin Katz, took a break from his studies and stumbled upon the dog-dorable research. Katz shared the methodology on Twitter, but let's review: In a study of nine pet dogs, researchers found that the dogs were able to group photos of dog heads—displayed on a computer screen—together amongst a large selection of dog breeds and cross-breeds, as well as other animals and human faces. Researchers believe their findings indicate that dogs can conceptualize a visual category of dog faces and accordingly group pictures of very different types of dogs into a single category, with all nine dogs in the study being able to do this.

Christmas for Pets
Credit: Emilija Manevska / Getty Images

More scientifically speaking: "The fact that dogs are able to recognize their own species visually, and that they have great olfactory discriminative capacities, insures that social behavior and mating between different breeds is still potentially possible," the researchers from LEEC and the National Veterinary School in Lyon, France, stated per the press release shared on Science Daily. "Although humans have stretched the Canis familiaris species to its morphological limits, its biological entity has been preserved."

Now, to the good stuff, check out the dog participants below. Don't let the dogs' cute names (like Bahia and Vodka!) and adorable faces fool you—these pups have got some serious brainpower.

Dog lovers, what do you make of these fascinating findings? Have you ever seen your dog go wild when they see another dog on TV? This might be quite the clue into why they do so.