Rover knows more about rudeness than you might think.
New research from Japan indicates that dogs seem to know when someone is snubbing their owner–and are willing to deliver a snub in return even if it means forgoing food, Agence France-Presse reported.
“We discovered for the first time that dogs make social and emotional evaluations of people regardless of their direct interest,” Dr. Kazuo Fujita, professor of comparative cognition at Kyoto University and the study’s lead researcher, told AFP. “This ability is one of key factors in building a highly collaborative society, and this study shows that dogs share that ability with humans.”
For the study, the researchers conducted three experiments involving 54 dogs. In each experiment, the dog’s owner pretended to need help opening a container while in the company of two people the dog didn’t know.
In the first experiment, the owner asked one of the people for help but was shut down by the person rudely turning away while the second person did nothing. In the second experiment, the owner asked for and received assistance while the second person didn’t get involved. In the third, “control” experiment, the dog owner didn’t interact with the other two people at all.
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