Dogs are people’s best friends. They are often pets, and their compassion and care for us is what makes them special. Do you know how dogs know how we feel?
If you have a dog – you have probably noticed that he often feels like you. When you are sad and just want to lie in bed or watch your favorite series – and your pet will not mind lying with you and not moving.
Likewise – when you are in a good mood, ready to play or walk and you simply cannot stop yourself from the positive energy that fills you – your most faithful friend will be in the same mood and will run after you and around you.
It is enough for dogs to just see their owner – they already know how he feels. If you are sad, you can notice that the dog will try to cheer you up, but if he does not succeed in that – he will give up and behave like you.
After thorough research, the scientists came to the conclusion that dogs have a high level of empathy towards people, but they can also recognize people’s moods. Prior to this research, mood recognition – as an ability – was attributed only to humans.
In the animal world, it is different. Many animals can recognize what other animals are feeling, or what their intentions are – but this usually only applies to animals within the same species.
To recognize feelings of another kind – the brain must be able to turn images and sounds into mental representations that it later evaluates, compares, connects and combines – and thus comes to the conclusion about someone else’s feelings and mood.
The research, conducted by scientists from the British University of Lincoln and the Brazilian University of Sao Paulo, included 17 dogs who were in a situation to look at photos of angry and smiling faces, and the researchers also played the sounds of cheerful and annoyed voices.
The dogs managed to connect the voice with the picture, that is, to connect the laughter with the photo in which the person is smiling, as well as to connect the annoyed voice with the picture in which the person is frowning, ie angry.
There is a difference between what dogs can learn, so they can know how to react to certain voice commands, but this is not about training.
This research included dogs and completely unknown faces in the pictures, as well as completely unknown voices in the recordings, and yet they managed to connect voice and photography in the right way, which shows that dogs, as well as humans, are innate to recognize mood , which is a major advance in animal science and research.