Fido Really Gets You—the Better to Steal From You

They're more likely to snatch food when it's dark: study
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 12, 2013 1:02 PM CST
Updated Feb 16, 2013 7:00 PM CST
Dogs have a keen sense of human perception, a study finds.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – More evidence that our dogs really do understand us: They can be calculating thieves. Researchers find that dogs are four times more likely to steal forbidden food when it's dark in the room, meaning humans can't catch them in the act, the BBC reports. That may suggest that the pups are aware of a change from the humans' point of view, researchers postulate.

It's "incredible because it implies dogs understand the human can't see them, meaning they might understand the human perspective," says an author. Researchers were careful to avoid trick links like dogs associating darkness with food availability, and it's "unlikely that the dogs simply forgot that the human was in the room," the scientists say. "Humans constantly attribute certain qualities and emotions to other living things," the author adds. "These results suggest humans might be right, where dogs are concerned."

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