DOGS can read human minds, researchers have claimed.
Man’s best friend is able to tell the difference between deliberate actions and mistakes, they say.
A dog is fed through a plastic barrier as part of the scientific experiment[/caption]
The researchers tested how dogs reacted when food rewards were withheld.
They found the animals behaved differently depending on whether a morsel of food was withheld intentionally or by accident.
Each of the 51 dogs was tested under three conditions.
They were separated from the human tester by a transparent barrier and fed pieces of dog food through a gap.
In the “unwilling” condition, the tester suddenly withdrew the reward and placed it in front of herself.
In the “unable-clumsy” condition, she tried to pass the reward through but then accidentally dropped it.
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In the “unable-blocked” condition, the tester again tried to give the dog a reward but was unable to because the gap was blocked.
In all cases, the reward remained on the tester’s side of the barrier.
The more the dogs could identify human intentions, the longer they would wait before approaching the food they had been denied.
Dr Hannes Rakoczy, from Gottingen University in Germany, said: “This suggests dogs may indeed be able to identify humans’ intentions.”