Your dog interacts with you in many different ways. They can tell you when they are hungry, tired, and happy. They can let you know they want to play, go outside, or even be scratched. They can even sense your emotions.
But did you know that your dog can also identify unreliable or bad people?
If You’re Not Trustworthy, Your Dog Will Stop Following Your Directions
According to a recent study, dogs can actually sense an untrustworthy person. And when a dog deems an individual “unreliable,” they won’t listen to that person any longer, according to a study published in the journal Animal Cognition.
In this study, in round 1, the experimenter pointed out to a dog a container that held dog food. The dog would go to the bowl and see the food. In round 2, the experimenter pointed the dog to a container that did not have any dog food in it. The dog would go to the container and find out there was no food. They were deceived!
And, finally, in round 3, the same experimenter again pointed out the same container. But in this final instance, the dog ignored the experimenter’s guidance because they deemed the information unreliable based on the experimenter previously “lying” to them in round 2.
Dogs Won’t Blame You for Others Being Untrustworthy
The good news is that dogs won’t lose trust in everyone based on one experience with an untrustworthy person. When a new person began the experiment mentioned above over again with the same dog, the dog followed the new person’s instructions to go to the food container. It “trusted” the new person’s instructions because they hadn’t been deemed “unreliable” yet by the dog.
“Dogs have more sophisticated social intelligence than we thought. This social intelligence evolved selectively in their long life history with humans.” —Akiko Takaoka of Kyoto University in Japan
Dogs Identify Rude, Bad People During Research Study
In another amazing study of dog behavior, dogs refused to take food from people who were acting mean or rude to their owners. The video below from Esquire explains it all!
And in this study written about in Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews, dogs wouldn’t interact at all with people who treated their owners poorly.
The Intelligence of Dogs
The above studies show that dogs have intelligence and can “read” social behavior of humans and other dogs and act according to those behaviors.
So, what are the smartest dog breeds out there? Psychologist Stanley Coren, Ph.D., has created a ranking of dogs based on their intelligence. And his findings just may surprise you.
Top 10 Smartest Dog Breeds
The top 10 smartest breeds — in order of intelligence — according to Dr. Coren are:
- Border Collie
- German Shepherd
- Golden Retriever
- Doberman Pinscher
- Shetland Sheepdog
- Labrador Retriever
- Australian Cattle Dog
By Cheryl Knight