They’re Watching Us…

Anyone who has been around dogs knows they pay attention to what we’re doing, but you may not realize just how closely they’re watching you.  Sarah Marshall-Pescini, a scientist in Italy, has shown that dogs pay attention to how we treat other people—in particular, how generous we are other with other humans. This observational ability is pretty rare.  Humans, chimpanzees, and some large fish are known to do it, but a big difference is the chimps are watching how a chimp cooperates with other chimps and the large fish watch how “cleaner fish” cooperate with other large fish.  Dogs, on the other hand, are watching how humans deal with other humans, not just how humans deal with other dogs.  Pretty cool!

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