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FYI: My Dog Is A Very Good Listener, But How Much Can He Understand? | Popular Science -
May 15, 2012
"Dogs aren’t linguists, but they have remarkably good social cognition skills. Daniel Povinelli, a psychologist at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, tested dogs’ ability to read cues from people. He placed a reward (a scrap of food, for example) under one of two buckets while the dog was out of sight, and he masked both buckets with an odor. Then he brought in the animal and had it guess which bucket held a reward, while researchers gestured toward the correct one. Dogs could determine the correct bucket with the smallest movement, even a slight nod. Povinelli also tested chimpanzees, but they weren’t nearly as good as dogs at reading cues and guessing the correct bucket. Surprisingly, wolves are even worse than chimps at the test, which, Povinelli suggests, is further evidence that dogs’ ability to interpret our movements comes from the two species’ living together for so long that we have co-evolved." -
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