Those of us who are parents are clear that if we don’t tell the truth to our children, they will end up trusting us. Well, although it is surprising, with some pets something similar happens since, as an interesting study shows us, dogs understand when a person lies to them.
The University of Kyoto in Japan has conducted a curious investigation about the social intelligence of dogs and how they are able to discern that we lie to them. It also shows us that if we do they will stop trusting us and, therefore, obey our orders, because they only submit to the instructions of the people they trust.
The first study with 24 dogs
A first study was carried out in which several psychologists analyzed the behavior of 24 dogs that were trained, based on the premise that they would, therefore, obey the orders received. They placed opaque containers in front of the animals, one of which hid food and the other did not. At first, the animal was ordered to go to the receptacle that did contain food. Then he was given the order to go to the one that was empty, with the intention that the dog will begin to think that the person was not worthy of his trust since he was giving false information.
When they repeated the instruction they verified that only 8% of all the dogs that had been previously deceived obeyed it. Now a new question arose: if the distrust would be only towards the person who had lied to them or humanity in general. Although there were already some previous studies that showed that these types of pets were able to judge people individually, they wanted to check it out for themselves.
A second study to see how well dogs know who lies to them
For this second investigation, they joined 26 other different dogs, with which they repeated the previous study step by step. On this occasion two different people were used, one who told them the truth and another who then lied to them. For them the result was more than evident: when the person who had not deceived them gave them any instructions they obeyed without hesitation. However, they decided not to respond to the liar’s requests.
For the authors of the study, this research shows that the emotional intelligence of these types of animals is superior to what is usually believed. They even comment on how a similar test has been carried out with children and before the age of 5 they are not able to discriminate if a person is reliable or if, on the contrary, it is not.
The social intelligence of dogs
For experts, the intelligence of dogs has improved significantly in recent decades thanks to living with the human being. For that reason, as another study indicates, they can even understand what we tell them.
It was found that your brain processes language in a way that is not very different from what we use. They not only capture the tone of our voice but also understand the meaning of some words. Something that confirmed a surprising experiment with a Border Collie, which managed to memorize the names of 1,022 toys and recognize them with a 95% success rate. Maybe it would cost us some.
Other research also shows how dogs understand our reactions to certain stimuli and take them as a reference. That is, they observe how we react to certain events and then take our behavior as a reference and repeat it. For example, when faced with a situation that theoretically should be scary, if we react in a relaxed manner on successive occasions, they will learn to behave in the same way. It even looked like these social reactions they learned them regardless of the emotional relationship they had with the person. They do not necessarily have to have an emotional bond to learn to mimic human behavior. A capacity that, by the way, children acquire from 15 months of age.
We are sure that, seen the seen, from now on you will begin to look with other eyes at your most faithful companion and, of course, never to lie to him. Otherwise, he will stop trusting you.