Twitter/ Dana Bell
Have you ever felt incredibly judged by a dog, like it is staring at you in a way that says, “I know what you did”? If you have ever been sized up by a dog, you may want to check yourself. There is proof as to why you should trust a dog’s instinct. Recent scientific studies performed by a team at the Kyoto University in Japan have revealed a fascinating insight into a dog’s judge of character. And the way in which the experiment was conducted was brilliant.
As people, we generally seek to find the best in someone. This can often be the downfall of some of us. Judging a book by its cover is often frowned upon. But sometimes, that’s exactly what we need to do. Dogs have the uncanny ability to decide whether or not they like someone in an instant. Wouldn’t that save you years of personal investment! However, even though dogs try and tell us things, we aren’t always listening.
Have you ever noticed your dog acting strangely to someone? Sometimes, they just shy away from a person. At other times, they may actually bark or growl at an individual. These are signals you should pick up on. However, most of us just brush them off. We think little of the warning. But if this continues, you should trust your dog. An earlier experiment conducted in Kyoto University, Japan revealed why.
A scientist went into a room with one dog. There were two bowls in the room. One was filled with food, the other was empty. The scientist would then point to the bowl with food. The dog obediently went to the corresponding bowl. In the second round, the same dog and scientist would go into the same test environment. However, this time the scientist would point to the empty bowl. And when the dog went to the bowl, an amazing pattern began to emerge.
Instagram/ Ryman The Frenchie
In round three, the same scientist and dog would re-enter the same test environment once more. This time, the scientist pointed at the full bowl again. However, the dog had become wiser. All tested dogs refused to go to the third bowl, remembering how they had been played in round two. Then, a new person entered the test environment. They then signaled to the full bowl. And the dog trustingly went there. But what about instantaneous judgment?
James Anderson headed up the project at Kyoto University. He worked within the division of behavioral studies and was fascinated by the topic. He began this series of experiments with human babies. He wished to see how early people would start passing judgment of others. He found that children as young as a year old developed a sense of judgment. He then expanded his studies to other animals, and his findings were incredible.
After his success with humans, James chose to broaden the gene pool. He decided to conduct a trust exercise on a number of capuchin monkeys. He mapped out an experiment to see whether a monkey was able to trust a human from mere observation. When these findings were positive, he dabbled in the idea of broadening the pool once more. James then decided to focus a similar experiment on dogs. But this wasn’t the easiest road.
When James pitched the idea, other scientists scoffed. They questioned how one could possibly compare a dog to a monkey. But James was determined to pursue this idea. As such, he pushed the matter. But yet again his requests were rebuffed. Fellow scientists heckled him over his attempts. James had to dig deep to find the inspiration for his project. Everyone knew monkeys possessed superior intelligence over hounds. Or did they?
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James happened upon another study conducted between dogs and monkeys. This one took place at the University of Arizona. In the experiment, monkeys were paired against two-year-old humans to see if there were any communicative links to commands. In the same right, dogs were placed in the same scenario. Findings highlighted that in social capabilities, dogs far outshone the chimpanzee test subjects. Scientists were astounded by how similar dogs and toddlers actually were. With this knowledge, James went full steam ahead with his experiment.
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James was thrilled with his findings. He now knew his experiment would fare well with dogs. As such, he put together a team perfect for the job. They worked tirelessly to develop a similar experiment to the capuchin monkey test. But then, James thought, why try reinventing the wheel? He decided to go ahead using the exact same experiment as before. And it was an absolute blessing in disguise that he did.
YouTube/ New Scientist
Three people would enter into a room with a dog. The person in the middle held a jar. They battled to try and open the jar. They would then pass the jar to the people on either side of them. One would refuse to help, and one would gladly open the jar for them. The two helpers would then give the dog praise to see who it would go to. And all the results were the same.
YouTube/ New Scientist
In all situations, the dog favored the kind person. They would wag their tail and immediately go to that person for praise. The other test subject was left by the wayside. This proved how dogs were able to pick up on unkind humans. It was as though the other person didn’t even exist to them. But why had the experiment been conducted in the first place? The reason behind it is astonishing.
Instagram/ Take A Hike Mr Real
According to Kiley Hamlin, “The capacity to make evaluations of others could help to stabilize complex social systems by enabling individuals to exclude bad social partners”. Perhaps, if we can learn from our canine counterparts, we will be able to adopt the above statement. Being able to rule bad people out of your life in a matter of minutes as opposed to years will make a massive difference to the world.
Instagram/ Evie The Pomchi
According to James, “I think that in humans there may be this basic sensitivity towards antisocial behavior in others.” However, through time and indoctrination of culture, that is lost. We, therefore, learn to accept the uncouth individuals as opposed to turning them away. Which ends up doing us more harm than them good. Moving forward we should at least try to adopt one practice.
Instagram/ Gus The Boss
From here on out, trust your dog’s judge of character. If you don’t believe us, just read the Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews journal for yourself. This is where the full experiment was released. Dogs have reason to not like some people, and the more we rely on that, the better for us. Your dog’s opinion matters. So make sure to take note of the people they don’t like!