A Dog Recognizes Its Owner By Face
Recently the scientists have proved, how important it is for dogs to see the face of their owner for recognizing him. The researchers also have explained, why dogs prefer to watch at their owners, that helps them to follow them, but not strange people.
In The Animal Behavior magazine a scientific group of researchers described how it is difficult for a dog to recognize its "best friend" if a person covers face. The analysis reveals the fact, how thousands years of dogs domestication influenced their behavior.
Dr Paolo Mongillo from Padua University of Italy made an extraordinary analysis. He explained the fact, that many researchers tried to explain a lot of times: how dogs collaborate with people, ability of dogs to concentrate on one person, preferring him to another, or just how much a dog is able to recognize its owner.
A group of Dr Mongillo scientists invented an experiment, with the intention to reveal it. "We placed a dog to an empty room and asked its owner and a strange person to walk along the room several times" - explained the scientist. "People moved in the opposite directions and, thus, passed the dog several times. It allowed to notice, how long dog was watching at one and the other person". The group of scientists asked the people to leave the room through different doors and allowed a dog to choose one.
"The dogs watched their owners much longer than an other person and then they were waiting at the door, through which their owner went out" - told Dr Mongillo.
He called it "an expected result", but there was no one who held such experiments before.
"If you happened to be in a crowded place, you could notice, that a dog watched its owner" - admitted Dr Mongillo.
At the second part of the experiment the scientists asked the people to cover their faces and further the participants walked along the room with paper bags on their heads. At this phase of experiment the dogs turned much less attention at their owners. It showed how important it was for dogs to see faces for recognizing.
Wild street dogs relay on body moves or follow the reaction of other dogs from their flock while recognizing, but the researches show, that domestic dogs are so accommodated to human society, that achieved the ability to understand some facial expressions of people.
Genetic researches of differences between dogs and their ancestors wolfs suppose that dogs were first domesticated 15000-40000 years ago.
At the same analysis the scientists researched the influence of aging on dog's attention. They revealed, that "old" dogs of 7 and more y.o. were less able to focus attention on their owner and were more likely to mistake in the choice of door where their owner went out.
"It is a comparative research, that demonstrates the fact, that dog aging is alike to human aging, and is closely connected with mental disorders" - concluded Dr Mongillo.
Thus, the investigation of the processes of dog aging could help researches of human aging and age diseases.