Dogs 'don't understand deception'

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Washington, Oct 24 (ANI): There is no evidence to prove that dogs can detect deception, says a new study.

Mark Petter conducted the study as an undergraduate student at the University of Western Ontario. He wanted to find out whether dogs could recognize if humans had the intention of deceiving them.

His study showed that dogs didn't differentiate between the human "cooperators" or "deceivers" to a remarkable degree.

"We thought they'd be better at it because dogs seem to be so sensitive to social cues from humans," Petter said.

"But there's no evidence dogs can understand the intentions of a deceiver, nothing that told us the dogs thought, 'hey this person is deceiving me, I shouldn't listen to them,'" he added.

In the experiments, dogs were allowed to choose between two containers, one of which contained a food reward.

A cooperative human tester stood behind and pointed to the baited container on half the trials, and a deceptive human tester pointed to the empty container on the other half of the trials.

While the dogs approached the cooperator more often than the deceiver, the difference was not significant enough to indicate an understanding of the intentions of the deceiver.

"They had a lot of time to learn what was going on, but they never really picked up on it," Petter said.

For centuries, dogs have been valued by their humans for their trusting, loyal natures, which may explain why they're so lousy at figuring out when someone's trying to trick them.

The study has just been published in the October issue of Behavioural Processes. (ANI)

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