Fido Knows What You're Thinking

Dogs can read humans like no other animal, researchers say
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2007 4:03 PM CDT
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(Newser) – Man's best friend, traditionally viewed by scientists as the drooling, complacent descendant of the noble wolf, are being given a fresh look by behavioral researchers who say their reasoning and ability to read human communication is unprecedented among four-leggers. Studies have suggested that dogs come out of the womb with innate human interaction abilities, Der Spiegel reports.

"When it comes to understanding human behavior, no mammal comes even close to the dog," says researcher Juliane Kaminski, who has shown that dogs best even apes in reasoning experiments that require interpreting a human gesture or gaze. Dogs also use the "selective imitation" problem-solving strategy, previously thought to be unique to humans.