an Oh Myyy Property

Study Shows Dogs Are Capable of Lying

Faba-Photography/Getty images

Most people think their dogs are the most perfect, innocent beings to ever grace our planet Earth. But have any of us ever considered the possibility that our dogs are actually dirty rotten liars? A group of scientists from Switzerland recently conducted a study on our canine companion's ability to fudge the truth to get what they want, and the results seemed to suggest dogs are a little smarter than we've been giving them credit for.

The researcher's experiment was well thought-out.

27 dogs were trained to recognize the difference between a kind woman who would give them their favorite kind of treat, and a mean one who would not. The women were labelled "cooperative" and "competitive" respectively.

The dogs were also presented with three containers. The first was filled each dog's favorite treat - sausage! The second had regular dog biscuits, and the third was empty. On the command "show me the food," the dogs would lead a woman to one of the containers. The cooperative woman would always give the dog a treat from whichever container they chose, while the competitive woman would not.

The dogs behavior was notably different towards the two women.

The dogs were far less likely to take the competitive woman to their favorite treat, since they knew she would keep it for herself. Two very smart dogs took the cooperative woman to the sausage every time, while never taking the competitive woman there.

The study, published in "Animal Cognition" states:

On both test days, the dogs were more likely to lead the cooperative partner than the competitive one to the box containing the preferred food, and this effect was stronger on the second than on the first test day.

After leading the competitive partner to one of the boxes, dogs were given an opportunity to lead the cooperative partner once again, thus giving the dogs an incentive to lead the competitive partner to one of the boxes even if they knew she wouldn't give them anything.

Researchers believe this shows dogs can display deceptive-like behavior.

The study's abstract concludes:

These results show that dogs distinguished between the cooperative and the competitive partner, and indicate the flexibility of dogs to adjust their behaviour and that they are able to use tactical deception.

However, the experiment isn't without its holes.

Skeptical minds point out that deception entails the dogs being aware of exactly what their partners want and "misleading" them. However, while humans will understand the words "show me the food" for its actual meaning, dogs may only hear it as a series of sounds that, to them, means "it's time to pick a container." In that case, they pooches will simply pick whatever they've learned will get them food, regardless of what the human "wants." The dogs may not even be aware they're part of a "deception."

Whether or not they're liars, one thing is certain: dogs are definitely a few notches smarter than we previously believed.

H/T - Indy 100, Animal Cognition

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

This Sunday, Robert Hayes was arrested in West Palm Beach, Florida, after being linked to one murder and potentially more.

He was seen during a brief hearing on Monday and denied bail.

Keep reading... Show less
Che Rosales/Getty Images, Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Clusterfest via Getty Images

Days after hiring stand-up comic Shane Gillis for the 45th season of Saturday Night Live, Gillis was let go from the show after racist, homophobic and misogynistic comments were uncovered.

And while Gillis had the opportunity to apologize or admit an error in his thinking, he instead claimed:

"My intention is never to hurt anyone but I am trying to be the best comedian I can be and sometimes that requires risks."
Keep reading... Show less
Press Association Images - Sussex Police

An 11-year-old girl has scared off an armed robber by throwing bread at him with her father.

Keep reading... Show less
A shark swims towards a surfer (Christopher Joye)

A surfer was saved from a possible shark attack thanks to a warning from a drone flying above the ocean.

Keep reading... Show less
Columbia Police Department / Twitter

Last week, daycare employees Emma Dietrich and Joshua Tennant, were tried for child endangerment after assisting students in the assault of a five-year-old student.

Dietrich, 31, and Tennant, 27, were aides in the same classroom at Worthington Learning Center.

Keep reading... Show less

The Irving Park Blue Line subway station in Chicago has a major pigeon poop problem.

Chicago lawmaker Jaime Andrade couldn't have asked for a better live demonstration of that fact as he gave an interview drawing attention to the problem.

A pigeon opted to do the deed right on the Chicago politician.

Keep reading... Show less