May 18, 2024


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Can dogs not think? Are you kidding me when I say that? Four-legged friends even understand logical processes. You may even have doubts when things don’t happen as expected.

The magician’s assistant disappears, and a murmur of amazement echoes through the crowd. If you took your dog to a show, he’d probably have a similar reaction. Researchers have discovered that our favorite four-legged friends understand cause-and-effect relationships logically.

Dogs who don’t understand the process will be surprised.

A puppy that looks like a puppy
How could that happen? Just like their owners, dogs get surprised when illogical things happen. © Svetlana Lazarenko/Shotshop/IMAGO

A study by scientists led by Christoph Felter and Ludwig Huber at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna shows that dogs are surprised when things don’t happen as expected. The researchers showed their four-legged friends small “magic tricks” similar to those that surprise small children. They showed the dogs a video of a ball mysteriously disappearing behind a small object. They then performed the same trick live on stage to the animal test subjects.

The results were amazing. The dogs clearly indicated that what they were seeing did not meet their expectations. They looked long as if everything was fine, pupils dilated and eyes wide. The four-legged friend even examined the experimental equipment and tried to understand where the ball went. Human children exhibit similar behavior.

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Dog Behavior: A dog’s facial expressions are no coincidence

By the way, it’s no wonder that dogs and human children have similar facial expressions. A study from the Langos School of Health Sciences at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh found that wolves and dogs differ significantly in their facial acrobatics. In fact, dogs display far more sophisticated abilities than their wild relatives. Professor Dr. Ann Burrows and her team found that dogs have more fast-twitch myosin fibers than wolves, and are therefore more similar to humans. These muscle fibers are responsible for showing different facial expressions. Dogs have one more muscle in their faces than wolves. It is the medial levator canthal muscle. This creates the famous “dog look”. How did this happen? Perhaps people bred dogs that resembled their own facial expressions. This gave them a deeper understanding of animals.



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