For several decades, scientists have been studying social cognition in dogs, that is, how canines read signals in the behavior of others. We, humans, do this automatically. With just looking at a person we can intuit what happens to him. All social mammals have evolved in very different ways of reading sent by their group members, usually of the same species. However, several recent research shows that dogs are surprisingly good at reading certain types of social signals that humans emit.
What do dogs perceive from humans?
Loneliness: Dogs can perceive when people feel alone. It is very likely that a dog when it perceives its owner with that mood tries to encourage him to go out or snuggle under his feet waiting for love, a care or a minimum of attention. In that sense, small hairy can be great companions to lift the spirits. That is why they are often highly recommended as emotional assistance animals and as a company for older adults or children.
Anxiety and stress: A dog can perceive very well when its owner is anxious and can even engage in that mood. He can probably bark or feel restless. You may ask to go outside or to the patio, run inside the floor or scratch some furniture. In those cases, the owner and can go for a walk and get distracted for a while. Otherwise, living together can become difficult.
Diseases: There are several studies that have shown that dogs can perceive certain diseases that include cancer. As we mentioned, there can be a strong connection between dogs and owners. Therefore, do not be surprised that these children can alert you to a health problem, both physical and emotional.
Tiredness: In these times, getting home tired or not wanting anything is no surprise. However, that fatigue situation, which your dog will hardly perceive through the door of your home, will be a difficulty for him. Remember that these types of pets need the attention of their owners. Therefore, if the owner cannot satisfy that anxiety and, above all, if the animal has not complied with its exercise or walking routines, the situation can lead to a series of uncontrollable barking. In that sense, it is best to relax, sit in an armchair and, if you have space at home, take one of your toys and throw it away to bring it to you.
Happiness: Dogs can also perceive positive moods such as the joy of their owners. When so, owners: Do not forget to make the most of that moment with your pet and take advantage of the day to walk or play as a family.
Why can dogs perceive what humans feel?
The question that many people ask is: Where do dogs get this talent? The first conjecture, according to the researchers, could be that as the dogs descend from the wolves, their ability to understand social cues evolved as they learned to hunt. If so, you could imagine that wolves should be at least as good to read the signs as dogs. However, studies have been conducted that indicate otherwise.
The next conjecture could be that dogs learn to read human body language thanks to the time they spend with people. This would suggest that puppies, especially those that still live with their litter mates and have not yet been adopted, should be poorer in capturing human signals. However, this hypothesis is not true. Puppies that are even up to nine weeks old and still live with their mother and litter brothers can understand the signs better than wolves or chimpanzees.
But then … Where does the ability of dogs to read human signals come from dogs? Many theories claim that it is simply a byproduct of domestication. However, positions in this regard are found and there is still no explanation in this regard.