Three Experiments To Tell You How Your Dog Thinks

Sooner or later, many dog ​​owners will ask themselves the question: what is really going on in the head of my four-legged friend? This is a question that scientists are faced with over and over again. In various experiments, they investigate how dogs think. We present to you some interesting discoveries.

To understand how a dog thinks and whether he understands us at all, researchers have already done a lot of research. Among other things, they found out that four-legged friends can recognize different words.

And when your dog hears the phrase “I love you,” heart rate even increases. Ouch!

We owe such discoveries to the scientific field of comparative psychology. The cognitive abilities of animals are investigated and compared with those of humans.

Dr. Juliana Breuer is the director of canine research at the P.I. Max Planck and has already conducted various experiments to find out how dogs think.

Do Dogs Have Metacognitive Abilities?

For example, along with Julia Belger, Juliana Breuer discovered signs that dogs are metacognitive. This means that dogs know whether they know something or not. To do this, the researchers conducted an experiment in which a reward in the form of food or toys was hidden behind one of two fences.

Sometimes the dogs could see where their reward was hidden, and sometimes not. In the latter case, the dogs tried several times to look into the gap under the fence. They knew they didn’t know where the reward was hidden.

“These results show that dogs tend to actively seek additional information if they have not seen where the reward is hidden,” explains Julia Belger. “This could indicate that dogs have metacognitive abilities. By their behavior, they show that they meet the requirement of knowledge of knowledge or ignorance. ”

This makes dogs look like humans and apes.

Can Dogs Read Our Minds?

In most cases, putting on your shoes and grabbing a leash is enough and your dog knows that you are going outside. This is because dogs can closely observe people and learn from our behavior.

This, among other things, is evidenced by the experiment of Dr. F. Julian Kaminski, who, like Juliana Breuer, is engaged in comparative psychology. In the experiment, she pointed her finger at the place where she hid the treat. The dogs knew immediately what the pointer meant, but the chimpanzee didn’t.

Both kinds of animals do not point out things by themselves in order to get the attention of others. Nevertheless, dogs understand this gesture in humans from six weeks of age. Essentially, dogs are anthropologists on four legs. They watch us and our movements, notice our habits. This means that dogs interpret human behavior very well.

For example, they also follow our gaze and know where we are looking without having to point to it. In addition, dogs perceive even the smallest changes: it matters whether we get off the couch to go to the refrigerator, or get ready for a walk. And even if they are minimal, your dog will eventually learn to perceive such differences.

What Does My Dog Think When it Has Eaten Something?

Who among the owners of dogs does not know this: a sad look when a beloved four-legged friend bit through a pair of shoes or left a pile on the white carpet. But can dogs really feel guilty? Do you feel guilty if you screwed up?

Dr. Alexandra Horowitz was already screened in a 2009 study. Her team analyzed when dogs looked “guilty.” Result: Dogs especially often looked guilty when their owners scolded them for something. Whether or not the four-legged friends actually ate something.

So, chances are, your dog doesn’t really think he did something wrong – he is just reacting to your behavior. What used to have a calming effect could work again.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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