According to Rebel Circus, a study published in the journal Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, scientists have confirmed that dogs do have the capacity to recognize “bad people”.
The study was based on several experiments done with dogs and their owners and there was strong proof that dogs are capable of making a difference between “good” and “bad” people on the basis of their actions. The dogs were found to behave similarly to humans rather than showing selfishness.
Details of the Study
As explained on Rebel Circus, the experiments consisted of the owners being placed in situations with strangers and acting out a coupe of scenarios. During the scenarios, dog owners needed to try and open a lid on a sealed container and after being unable to, they were required to speak to a designated person (a stranger) nearby and ask for assistance for the can opening.
The strangers needed to act in a specific way when they were being approached, i.e. one group needed to be friendly and helpful and to agree assisting the dog owners while the others were asked not to be so polite when it comes to offering their help. The third group was required to refuse to help.
All of the strangers, despite their reaction to the owners, needed to try and interact with the dogs with the help of treats.
The researchers concluded that there was a lot of evidence showing the capacity of the dogs to exclude the “bad people”, that is, the ones who refused to help by not accepting treats from them. They were more likely to take a treat from the helpful or passive strangers.
What the researchers found to be the most surprising and interesting aspect of the experiments was the actual refusal of dogs of to take treats from uncooperative individuals, which may further suggest that dogs put loyalty and social cues of their owners above selfish needs like a treat.
Dogs May Be Smarter than We Think
According to King Demic, dogs are intelligent, but their intelligence differs from that of humans. Namely, they are highly sensitive to human behavior and have fewer preconceptions and are capable of living in the present; they do not have the capacity to think about the past or the future. Moreover, dogs cannot think deeply about what is going on, but immediately respond to a situation. Hence, when you mislead a dog, you can easily lose its trust and loyalty.