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Pet parents usually want to believe the best about their dogs. Their little angels are nothing but balls of cute innocent fluff- except when they’re not. If you’ve ever watched your dog step on the cat to get to a toy first or pretend to have a sore paw to get carried back from an extra long walk you know things aren’t always what they seem with pets. But do our dogs actively manipulate us?
A new study shows that dogs not only manipulate humans to get what they want, they’re quite good at it, too. The study published in Animal Cognition was conducted by Marianne Heberlein, a pet parent herself. She noticed that one her dogs would only pretend to pee before bedtime- just to get a treat along with the other dogs. This prompted her to investigate this type of behavior further. Did dogs really lie to humans just to get what they want?
Heberlein refereed to this as “tactical deception”.
They also use tactical deception to avoid things they don’t want to do. Check out this video of a pup pretending to have a hurt paw:
Or this dog, who only gets tired when his human heads in the direction of home:
When you don't want to go back home.LIKE AND SHARECredit: @lr_zara_ ( www.instagram.com/lr_zara_ )
Posted by FreebieAl on Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Tell Me Lies, Sweet Little Lies
What she proved probably won’t shock most pet parents. Dogs consistently, and quickly, learned to manipulate humans to get the tastiest treats available. In some cases, it only took the dog a matter of minutes to figure out what works and what doesn’t- even if it involved deception. Then, it was simply a matter of repeating what works as often as they could. Other primates in comparison often took hundreds of tries before figuring out what works.
“They really have the capacity from the cognitive aspect to use such a strategy to have a benefit in their lives,” Heberlein said. “It’s tactical deception, basically.”
“I do think it’s impressive that they got the co-operative/competition task quite quickly,”Daphna Buchsbaum, of the University of Toronto said. “It’s promising that they’re solving the problem and not just gradually learning more simple association.
So does this settle the debate that dogs really are smarter than cats? Maybe not.
“I think one of the biggest differences is that the dogs care and the cats don’t. The argument is: are dogs smarter than cats because they understand our communication and they do what we tell them to, or are cats smarter because they don’t do what we tell them to and we feed them anyway?”
What have you caught your dog lying about? Share your story in the comments.
COMMENTS FROM LOVINMYPUP.COM:
Does your dog manipulate you?. I can say, without hesitation, that Bella manipulates me every chance she gets. If we are out and about she will sprawl out on the floor to “show me how tired she Is”. If I want to keep walking down the the street, and she wants to go home, she will stop the walk and turn around to face the direction of the house. She will stay on that spot sitting backwards, until I give in and go home. She is the queen of manipulation – and so very smart. I adore her manipulation. It shows me how much she and I can communicate. Bella also loves to pretend to have to go out, stand on the top of the deck, watch the movement of the kids in the pool next door , and the two dogs next door – AND THEN comes back in for her carrot treat, She thinks I don’t know that she never left the top of the deck. I luv this pup!
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