Melody Teh

News

Fri, 13 Feb, 2015

Dogs can tell how you’re feeling, according to new study

Dogs can tell how you’re feeling, according to new study

Dogs possess the remarkable ability to read our emotions, according to new research.

Animal behaviour specialist from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna have found evidence that animals can read the emotional expressions of another species. Scientists say it might explain the “extraordinary bond” between humans and dogs.

“Our study demonstrates that dogs can distinguish angry and happy expressions in humans, they can tell that these two expressions have different meanings, and they can do this not only for people they know well, but even for faces they have never seen before,” research author Ludwig Huber said.

“It appears likely to us that the dogs associate a smiling face with a positive meaning and an angry facial expression with a negative meaning.”

The scientist tried to tempt the dogs with treats to choose the picture of the angry face but the pooches weren’t fooled.

Co-author Corsin Müller said: “We think the dogs in our study could have solved the task only by applying their knowledge of emotional expressions in humans to the unfamiliar pictures we presented to them.”

“We expect to gain important insights into the extraordinary bond between humans and one of their favourite pets, and into the emotional lives of animals in general.”

Image credit: Messerli Research Institute 

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