Dogs Follow Your Expressions at the Level of Human Infants

March 26, 2012

new study in the science journal Current Biology will not surprise the majority of dog owners. It suggests that dogs can follow our gaze and facial expressions – our communicative intent to interact with them – as well as preverbal human infants. That’s something we see every day in our interactions with our canines, isn’t it? Actually, my Labradors are probably more expert than most babies, but then they have the advantage of years of studying my –ahem– communicative intent.

Still, it’s nice to see that research is beginning to find scientific support for this well-known ability.

“Increasing evidence supports the notion that humans and dogs share some social skills, with dogs’ social-cognitive functioning resembling that of a 6-month to 2-year-old child in many respects,” says study researcher Jozsef Topal of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. “The utilization of ostensive cues is one of these features: dogs, as well as human infants, are sensitive to cues that signal communicative intent.”





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