Doggie See Doggie Do: Dogs Communicate via Facial Expressions ?

New research has found that dogs can read human facial expressions just like babies.  This means that dogs rely on more than just verbal cues to communicate and anticipate our desires.

The Week.com comments that 29 canines were used in this study.  They were shown videos of a woman who first had verbal communication along with eye contact and then verbal communication without eye contact.  The study’s findings, published in the journal  Current Biology, showed that dogs seemed to follow the woman’s gaze only when she looked directly at them and not when she just had verbal communication without eye contact.

The New York Times adds that similar studies have been conducted on infants, and the dogs responded in the same way that 6-month-old babies respond to a similar techniques.

Jozsef Topal a researcher at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and co-author of the study stated, “Dogs are receptive to human communication in a manner that was previously attributed only to humans.”

Dog lovers across the world might be mumbling to themselves that this is old news.  However, it is now being backed by science.  Canine behavior expert Stanley Coren believes that in terms of development dogs are on the same level as  2-year-olds.

“This should reinforce that if we want our dog’s attention , we should be clear about it,” says Adam Goldfarb from the Humane Society of the United States.

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