Here's Why Your Dog Might Be the Best Judge of Character
Dogs have superpowers. Sure, they can't fly, speak human, or pick things up due to the fact that they don't have opposable thumbs, but there's one amazing thing they can do: They can smell out a bad guy a mile away.
According to a 2017 study published in Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews, dogs are able to decern who is a good person and who is a bad person. As Town & Country explained, more specifically, a dog can discern when a human is being mean to another human.
To come to this conclusion, the researchers asked a number of dog owners to act out different scenarios while their dogs watched closeby. The scenarios included people pretending to struggle to open a jar before asking two other researchers to help them.
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In one scenario, one researcher passively stood by while the other researcher helped the volunteer open the jar.
In the second scenario, one researcher stood passively while the other refused to help. At the end of both scenarios both of the researchers (passive researcher and refusal researcher) offered the dog a treat.
Here's how we know all dogs are very good boys: In scenario one — where one researcher helped and the other passively stood by — the volunteer dogs were just as likely to take a treat from both researchers.
However, in scenario two — where one researcher refused to help — the dogs were significantly more likely to ignore the mean one and refuse a treat.
The researchers concluded that dogs are indeed able to judge human behavior and can tell if a person is being nasty to another person. So, long story short, dogs have far better instincts than people. The next time your dog refuses a treat from a stranger know you should probably be wary of them too.