Study: Do Dogs Know Other Dogs Are Dogs?

Ph.D. student Julie Hecht (Psychology) is featured on Salon.com this week for her article on whether dogs are able to recognize other dogs by sight alone.

Originally published on Hecht’s ScientificAmerican.com blog “Dog Spies,” the article examines a 2013 experiment in which dogs were made to “choose” between two images — one of a dog and the other of a non-dog — and were rewarded for selecting the dog image.

The dogs prevailed: all nine subjects were successfully able to distinguish dogs from non-dogs (although some got the hang of it faster than others).

“The study suggests that despite their wackadoodle appearances, dogs can identify other dogs by sight alone,” Hecht writes. “Dogs seem to have a sense of who (or at least which images) falls in the category of ‘dog’ and who does not. Exactly which features dogs use when tuning into ‘dog,’ though, the current study can’t say.”

A canine researcher, writer, public speaker, and dog enthusiast, Hecht is a student in the GC’s Animal Behavior and Comparative Psychology training area. Her research has covered such topics as dogs’ understanding of “fairness,” olfactory preferences, dog-human play behavior, and common anthropomorphisms.

Read more.

Submitted on: JAN 6, 2016

Category: Animal Behavior | General GC News | Student News