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Your Dog Can Tell When You're Lying - Here's How

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Your Dog Can Tell When You're Lying - Here's How

We don't know about you, but we're always suspicious of people our dog doesn't seem to like. And now, according to a new study, it turns out dogs can actually sniff out a liar.

We knew it!

Dogs know when we're fibbing (Credit: Unsplash)
Dogs know when we're fibbing (Credit: Unsplash)

According to researchers at Kyoto University in Japan, dogs can actually suss out if you're being dishonest.

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The study involved a team of scientists pointing to various different containers, some filled with hidden food, some without. At first, they pointed to a tub full of food, which the dog involved in the study immediately ran to.

They then repeated the experiment, but with an empty container. The dog ran to it but found it contained no food.

As a result, the third time the team tried to encourage the dog to go to the container, it was reluctant and refused to go.

"Dogs are known to consistently follow human pointing gestures. In this study, we asked whether dogs 'automatically' do this or whether they flexibly adjust their behaviour depending upon the reliability of the pointer, demonstrated in an immediately preceding event," the study explained.

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Researchers pointed at different containers, some with and some without food (Credit: Unsplash)
Researchers pointed at different containers, some with and some without food (Credit: Unsplash)

The team repeated the study with 34 different dogs and the same pattern was portrayed each time, meaning dogs know when we're being dishonest based on previous experience.

The study concluded: "These results suggest that not only dogs are highly skilled at understanding human pointing gestures, but also they make inferences about the reliability of a human who presents cues and consequently modify their behaviour flexibly depending on the inference."

"Dogs have more sophisticated social intelligence than we thought. This social intelligence evolved selectively in their long life history with humans," added Akiko Takaoka, who led the study.

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The team repeated the study with 34 different dogs (Credit: Shutterstock)
The team repeated the study with 34 different dogs (Credit: Shutterstock)

According to John Bradshaw of the University of Bristol, it also highlights how dogs prefer events in their lives to be predictable.

"Dogs whose owners are inconsistent to them often have behavioural disorders," he told BBC.

It definitely might be worth thinking twice before fibbing to your pup!

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: Life News, Pets, Dogs

Lucy Devine
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