Science Confirms That Dogs Can Recognize a Bad Person

2 years ago

Cats or dogs? This is one question that has been debated for years. Here’s one more fact about dogs that may change your mind about which pet to get. You trust your dog, but does it trust you?

Bright Side loves facts — especially facts about animals. A recent study shows that dogs can analyze how reliable a person is and we want to share this information with our readers! Dogs, as real detectives, can explain to us whether or not to trust another person.

The study was conducted by Akiko Takaoka of Kyoto University in Japan. The scientist and his colleagues wanted to know if a dog would trust a person who lied to it. The researchers divided the experiment into three parts. They wanted to know if the dog could understand whether or not the person was untrustworthy.

The group of scientists claims that the research has a potential implication for dogs’ behavioral studies. The study tells us that dogs prefer this world to be certain, according to John Bradshaw at the University of Bristol.

In the experiment, dog owners would first point to a container with food. The dog would run to it. Then a container without food would be pointed at. The dogs were tricked and approached the container.

It’s been previously known that dogs would run to an object their owner would point at. Thus, dogs are believed to be able to understand human gestures.

The third time, the dogs would not follow the pointing hand. They did not believe the liars34 dogs took part in the experiment, and they all showed the same results, according to the Animal Cognition Journal. Dogs would use their previous experience to know that a person was unreliable.

More research states that dogs also control how other people interact with their owners. In an experiment, dog owners asked people for help. Afterward, the people were trying to give the dogs a treat. And the pets surprised us!

The dogs wouldn’t take a treat from the people who behaved in a bad or rude way toward their owners. They preferred to be fed by those who helped. Even those who did nothing in response to the begging were welcomed. But the rude and aggressive people couldn’t earn the dogs’ trust.

One more study reported by Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews, states that dogs clearly read the communication between their owners and strangers. In the experiment, dog owners asked 2 groups of strangers for a little help. The dogs showed a good understanding of social rules. They avoided the people who mistreated their owners.

It’s been proven before that dogs are able to read our gestures and facial expressions. Now we know more about them, and they are much more intelligent than we were led to believe! They can decipher our gestures and also decide if they want to follow social cues.

How clever is your dog? Share your stories with us in the comments!

Please note: This article was updated in March 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.


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My Jack Russell is so in tune with me & reads my body language perfectly. If I'm sad I get a hug. I have to spell certain words. He knows & understands so much of what I say to him & responds accordingly. I can ask him to get his bowl & bring it to me & he will drag said bowl across the floor & give a short bark to remind me that its dinner time, always unprompted. I don't need scientific research to tell me a dog knows bad people. They are smart intuitive animals. My Bobby is always surprising me with his level of intelligence. He is just like a small child lol


The new neighbor moved in next door and on the very first day one of their children saw my dog standing up on our front gate. The kid picked up a road cone and smacked her over the head with it. My other neighbor saw this and came to tell me. Anyone that comes out of their driveway my dog barks like crazy then by the end of that week the arm defenders arrived to arrest a man that was living there. My dog always alerts me when the neighbor is having visitors and they all know not to come near the fence.


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