Man's best friend just got better: Dogs can predict and understand human behaviour better than ever, and future generations may not need training
Study finds a dog’s understanding of our minds is increasingly instinctive
Dogs can predict and understand human behaviour better than ever, a new study has found, suggesting future generations of man’s best friend may not need any training at all.
A study by the University of Abertay in Dundee found that a dog’s understanding of our minds is increasingly instinctive, as is the ability to predict the desires and reactions of its human “pack leader”.
The university analysed the behaviour of 24 dogs - some highly trained, some not tutored at all – and found that the level of coaching a dog had received made no difference to its reaction to unspoken commands, such as pointing or nodding for it to change location.
And with selective breeding showing no signs of slowing down, that trend is likely to continue, as more intuitive dogs are encouraged to breed with those of a similar intelligence.
Dr Clare Cunningham, who led the study, said: “We found that training levels didn’t make any difference - no matter how well trained they were, it did not make their ability to pick up cues better or worse.”
She added: “What made the difference was whether they were familiar with the human who was giving the cues… As they get to know particular humans, they pay more attention to them and this may mean they can read and even predict human behaviour with more efficiency as familiarity grows.”
Dr Cunningham went on to say: “If such abilities can be passed on from one generation to the next, then over time we will see them getting better and better and better at predicting human behaviour.”
Concluding the study, which was co-authored by Mari Ramos and published in the Animal Cognition journal, Dr Cunningham added: “Dogs have been selected through the domestication process to accept humans as social partners and as such, are very good at attending to their behaviour”.
She went on: “If such abilities can be passed on from one generation to the next than over time we will see them getting better and better and better at predicting human behaviour.”
- 1 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 2 How to turn off/stop 'seen by' on Facebook: Disable it to make your chats seem less passive aggressive
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
- 5 Buckingham Palace guard who attacked passers-by in 'most most violent piece of CCTV footage' police officer had seen walks free
Top 20 misconceptions people believe are true
Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
Nepal earthquake: More than 1,100 killed across four countries and in Mount Everest avalanche
Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Katie Hopkins on LBC: Listen to caller taking The Sun columnist to task over migrant comments
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...
Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...
£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...