Dogs can gracefully give us surprise after surprise on how they are so smart and loyal to death but this fact might even shock you: Your dog has social communication skills and it learns from you! How about that? You might be wondering: Liar! That’s a joke!
Let us show you as new research that proves the fact that your pet doesn’t need training so much as you are concerned about because it has developed an understanding of human communication itself!
And here’s the takeaways from a study that appeared on Current Biology:
– 8-week-old dog pets exhibit social skills in their activities and start to learn about human faces.
– Puppies can read people’s gestures and respond accordingly.
– Dogs’ social skills might change in individuals. 50% is likely because of genetics.
Astoundingly, the study gives an insight that dogs develop to communicate like kids. They understand and react to certain circumstances since birth and develop real-life communication later on, because of which dogs learn and change their social skills like children.
What’s more interesting, the study shows that some have more advantages when it comes to communicating via unspoken signals compared to others.
So how did the researchers come up with these findings?
First, they make an experiment of human cues, which is to see how good the dog’s understanding of humans in 3 separate social settings:
– How good are they at getting human gestures.
– How good are they at approaching & interacting with people.
– Looking at people’s faces for help.
To make the test accurate to its best, researchers picked 375 dogs (around 8 weeks old) that have parents sharing the same breed.
The reason behind choosing such a young age is that puppies at this time of their lives have not made so much social communication with us people yet, so it helps researchers to have a clearer look at the dogs’ innate skills of communication.
1. Human Gestures
In the first context, the researchers kept the dog when also giving cues by gestures: Pointing the index finger at a cup for the purpose of telling it there’s food. Along with it, the researchers presented the dog a yellow block and then marking the cup that contains food with the same block.
2. Approaching and interacting with people
In this test, a researcher does the “baby talk” with the dog to note how long the period of the dog’s gazing at a person’s face. The researcher interchanged between exaggerated speech and high-pitched tones while doing this test.
The second part of the test is to see how long the dog spent in near-distance proximity with the person. The results given are the puppies, on average, kept gazing for 6 seconds and interacting with the person for up to 18 seconds.
3. Looking at people’s faces for help
In this experiment, the dog was given an unsolvable task that is to open a fixed lid. Before that, the dog has been taught to open the lid and get food inside.
Not being able to complete the task and rewarded, the dog turned to the researcher’s face.
It turns out, just like children, your dog has social communication skills and it learns a lot from human cues throughout its lifetime. Importantly, it develops social interactions with humans as growing up. This attests to the saying “Whatever you’re sending will return to you”; If you love your dog so much and spend a resourceful amount of time with it, it will give you the same love and energy!
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