A new study shows that dogs can detect when people are lying, unlike children and primates. The University of Vienna conducted experiments with pure breed dogs using food hidden by buckets. Experts believe that dogs can follow their instincts when they are given incorrect instructions by humans as to where the food is located.
‘We thought dogs would behave like children under age five and apes, but now we speculate that perhaps dogs can understand when someone is being deceitful,’ study author Ludwig Huber at the University of Vienna told New Scientist.
“Maybe they believe that this person is the same as me in knowledge, but still gives me incorrect [information].
“It is possible that they could see that as intentionally misleading. Which is lying.
The researchers used 260 dogs, including border collie, terriers and retrievers, as well as schnauzers and retrievers.
Two opaque buckets were given to the dogs. One contained dog food, which they could access by removing a paper lid using their paws or snouts.
A study has shown that puppies adopted by Americans who work from home during the pandemic suffer from anxiety and stress as their owners return from work.
Auburn University researchers discovered that these “pandemic puppies” are afraid of other dogs because they were so confined in their childhoods.
They also panicked when they were exposed to unfamiliar environments and struggle to adjust to being left alone while their owners return to work.
The dogs were initially trained to trust a person they had never met, called the ‘communicator’, to help them find the food from the correct bucket.
The communicator would point to the food-filled bucket, look at the dog and then say ‘Look, this is good, this is very good!’ to nudge the dog towards the food. After establishing this trust between the communicator and the dogs, the researchers added the all-important element of deception into the mix.