Human Dog Affinity Dogs Read Humans Like A Book

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Human Dog Affinity Dogs Read Humans Like A Book

by Joann Grant

Risking the anger of cat lovers, I daresay that there is no other animal that has been able to establish as close a relationship with human beings as dogs. The question that lingers in many minds is "having descended from wolves which are known for their ferocity" how a dog can be a man's friend.

It is not inconceivable that earlier in the history of human evolution the wolves must not only have vied for prey with humans but must have also been quite comfortable gorging upon human flesh. How did this very conceivable enmity turn into such close affinity?

It is a known fact that dogs are very docile, unless of course they have been trained to fight or hunt. So, is it really true that dogs are the most compatible human companions. One Mr. Brian Hare of Harvard University performed an experiment some time back wherein he found that no animal is as sensitive to social cues from human beings as a dog. As per his study, even chimpanzees who are supposed to be closest to human being in the chain of evolution are not as sensitive as dogs. This is what, that makes them best suited to live in human company and respond well to human surroundings.

To test his basic hypothesis Dr Hare put two inverted cups before a dog and a chimpanzee and then put a small piece of food under one of them without letting the animals see. The job for the animals was to pick the right cup. Without any cue, both of them were right nearly 50% of the time. Then it was signaled to them as to which one was the right cup. The signal could be pointing, tapping or just looking at it. The dog was right every time while the chimpanzee did not improve much.

The inference drawn was simple that the Chimpanzees can not understand social signals of this kind while the dogs read them like a book. Perhaps, that's where the reason for a better human-dog understanding lies. They can take the cue soundlessly. If someone understands someone so well, it is natural for them to build a lasting connection.

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