Does your dog act differently towards different types of people? Better yet, does your dog seem to dislike folks you’re not a fan of either? Well, maybe that’s because your dog can sense when someone is a ‘bad person.’ Science has just confirmed that dogs can discern a good person from a not-so-good person. Science tells us that dogs can actually sense when someone isn’t kind even when that person isn’t unkind to them specifically. Pretty incredible, huh? Many argue that cats are more discerning than dogs and that dogs pretty much like everyone — but this study says that simply isn’t true!
According to a study by Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, dogs can differentiate a good person from a not-so-good person. During the experiment, the dog owners were given a container that was difficult to open. The dog owners then turned to a researcher for assistance. The researchers either 1. helped the dog owner 2. stood there passively or 3. refused to help altogether — Then, all the researchers offered the dogs a treat. The dogs were much more likely to take a treat from a helpful or passive researcher but ignored the ones who refused to help their owners.
The study clearly illustrated that dogs do not always ‘act out of self-interest.‘ The researcher who refused to help open the container showed no ill will towards the dog itself. The dogs, however, sensed that the researcher was being unkind to their owner and wanted nothing to do with them.