While we would not take Fido’s reaction as the sole reason why we like or do not like another person – some people and dogs simply do not get along – it is interesting to see who a dog will not trust.
Dogs Learn Who They Can Trust — and Who They Cannot
The researchers next wanted to find out whether the dogs learned to only mistrust this particular researcher or if they applied to mistrust to other people as well.
The first part of the experiment was repeated, but in the final step the untrustworthy research was replaced with someone new, who pointed to a container with an appropriately hidden treat.
In this case, the dogs gave the person the benefit of the doubt and went to the container to which he pointed, showing they had not lost faith in all of humanity — only in the person who lied to them.
Interestingly, research involving human children has shown they typically don't learn this level of discrimination (learning to accept information from a trustworthy person and not from an unreliable person) until around the age of 5.2
Dogs are typically said to have mental abilities similar to a 2- to 3-year-old child, but this study suggests a higher degree of mental sophistication.
Dogs Reject Food From Person Who Snubbed Their Owners
In 2015, research led by Kazuo Fujita, a professor of Comparative Cognition at Kyoto University, showed for the first time that dogs make social and emotional evaluations of people, and act on their judgment independent of their own interests.
For instance, dogs watched as a person either helped their owner open a box, actively refused to help with the task or behaved in a neutral manner. The strangers then offered food to the dog.
Long story short: If your precious pup is wary of someone you are acquainted with you might want to stand back and take a really good look at your relationship. Honestly is could mean nothing but a regretful connection between the two. On the other hand, Fido may know something you do not!
For more information on this fascinating study go to Healthy Pets. There you will also read who the experts feel are the most intelligent and intuitive dog breeds. Is your dog among them?