How well do you know your dog?
More importantly, how well does your dog know you?
Have you ever noticed that your dog does really well with sensory clues around them to react to? Web Watch remembers a former pet we had that would sleep in the corner all night long… but the one time that we knowingly get up to go to the refrigerator for a snack, they would wake right up and follow us to the kitchen.
Every. Single. Time.
It’s like they knew something, sensed something about what we were doing – and acted upon it.
Turns out, our observation isn’t that far from the truth discovered by scientists.
In a controlled study of dogs and their eating behaviour, scientists found that DOGS TAKE CUES FROM HUMAN INTERACTIONS.
In all cases, the dogs were presented with two different bowls of food. The bowls that the dogs chose to eat from was controlled or indicated via the following scenarios:
No human interference
Visual food indicator, without human interference
Intently studying one plate of food vs another
Intently studying one plate of food vs another, but adding audio clues of yummy tastiness
Pretending to eat food from one of the plates
Pretending to eat food from one of the plates, but adding audio clues of yummy tastiness
Staring at one plate of food, then staring at the dog, then staring back at the food
As you can see, the goal was whether the dog would take the human’s reinforcement of a specific plate of food as the one that they should be eating from (even if that plate was of a smaller or less tasty variety than the other).
What the research found was that the eating motion was more attention-grabbing for the dogs than were the audio or other visual clues. And in the absence of any outside stimuli, the dogs almost always went for eating the larger portion.
Kinda makes sense that new parents use the “flying airplane spoon yum yum yum” trick to get their kids to eat too. Kids are like dogs?