Dogs will snub strangers who are mean to their owners, says study – PetsOnBoard.com

A new study to be published in science journal Animal Behavior later this month even indicates that the dogs will ignore food offered to them by people who have declined to help their owners.”We discovered for the first time that dogs make social and emotional evaluations of people regardless of their direct interest,” Professor Kazuo Fujita, who led the study, told AFP.The study looked at three groups of 18 dogs each, who were put into role-playing situations in which their owners needed help opening a box. Two strangers to the dog were introduced to the situation, some of whom helped when asked, some of whom refused and some of who remained neutral.Irina Bg / ShutterstockAfter the box was opened, the dog was offered food by the two strangers and was more likely to accept the treat from neutral parties in all groups and ignore food from people who refused to help. There was no particular difference in the dog’s behavior toward those who helped and those who remained neutral.In theory, if dogs were simply in it for themselves they’d take food from anyone who offered it.”This ability is one of [the] key factors in building a highly collaborative society, and this study shows that dogs share that ability with humans,” said Fujita.It also corresponds with the behavior of children aged around three, the paper noted.

Source: Dogs will snub strangers who are mean to their owners, says study – TODAY.com

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