Adorable Study Shows How Dogs Recognize Other Dogs

As humans, we are accustomed to seeing people of different sizes. Some are tall, others short, some are round, and others, not so much. Although that may be true, we are essentially the same from one person to another, but that isn’t true when it comes to dogs. Imagine being an 8 foot human and regularly seeing other humans that are only 6 inches tall! Dogs have to deal with that reality on a daily basis.

Since dogs look different from each other in this way, researchers from France wanted to see how they were able to determine if they were looking at a member of their own species. There wasn’t any sniffing involved in the study but researchers were able to determine that dogs could identify other dogs using their sense of sight.

This study was originally published in 2013 but thanks to Benjamin Katz, a PhD candidate in clinical psychology, it was revisited in a viral Tweet.

The tweets posted by Katz described the objective of the study and the methods that were used. It also went into great detail about the subjects, including the lineup of dogs, Bag, Bounty, Sweet, and Vodka.

They use those dogs and showed them two images at a time. One was a headshot of another dog and the other picture was a living being of another type, such as a cat or a gerbil. When they were shown the picture of a dog, they got a treat.

They had a second phase to the study that reversed the objective. In other words, the second phase rewarded the dogs with a treat when they picked the non-dog image. In order for one of the subjects to pass, they had to get 10 trials correct out of 12 and do so over two consecutive sessions.

The study stated: “Each of the nine subjects was able to group all the images of dogs within the same category. Thus, the dogs have the capacity of species discrimination despite their great phenotypic variability, based only on visual images of heads.”

Most dogs were able to follow the objective after they had a few training sessions. The only exception was a two-year-old border collie, Bounty.

Bounty is still a good boy.

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