(DUNDEE, Scotland) — While virtually all dog owners think they know their pet pretty well, it turns out the reverse might be true as well.
That’s the finding of a new study of Scotland’s Abertay University in which researchers examined a dog’s ability to follow human-given cues.
As a result, according to Dr. Clare Cunningham, dogs seem to pay more attention to their master than first believed and if that’s the case, these animals may be able to parlay this skill into predicting human behavior, albeit, a long time into the future.
Of course, this led the researchers to the old nature vs. nurture argument and Cunningham says that it’s probably a combination of both.
They came to that conclusion after studying the habits of highly trained dogs, those with basic training and mutts that were abandoned in the shelter.
In short, Cunningham reveals that training didn’t really come into play when following human cues; instead, it had more to do with the dog’s familiarity with the person giving the cues.
According to Cunningham, dogs “are acutely sensitive to the wishes of the people they interact with, so in a few more million years, it may be that selection leads to this ability becoming even more heightened so that they can tell what their owner wants them to do, even before a cue is given.”
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