Several pieces of evidence will point out that dogs can anticipate our next move, based on how they understand our movements. One dog owner said that he would just glance on the leash hanging on the wall of his house and he will see his dog getting all excited for his daily walk.

This behavior only proves that dogs are thinking animals. Basically, a dog can read his human’s body language. Through our movements and gestures, a dog will be able to tell what’s our next move.

The tests that prove that canines are smart

For many years, scientists have been studying dogs on how they can understand the movements of other species. This is what scientists call the “social cognitive” in dogs. We, as humans, can do this automatically. For example, we will get directly to the point of our conversation with somebody once we notice how the other person keeps on looking at his watch.

Through evolution, social mammals have improved in reading body signals from other members of the same species. However, with dogs, many scientists find it remarkable that they are good at reading certain social cues from humans, who are from a totally different species.

Several kinds of research and studies have been conducted and these proved dogs are much better in reading body signals than the species closest to humans, the chimpanzee. But the chimps also learned later that by reading certain cues, they can find the food much faster. 

Dogs, on the other hand, can locate food immediately after being exposed to the same tests. In fact, dogs can rightfully find hidden food much faster than apes do. Dogs also did better at this as compared to young children.

Experts are wondering how dogs acquired this talent. The first theory is attributed to dogs being descendants of wolves. Wolves live in packs and are great in hunting and working together as a unit. It is believed that their ability to read signals from other pack members allows them to work together better. But this theory was debunked after scientists have tested wolves at the Wolf Hollow Wolf Sanctuary in Massachusetts.

The tests showed wolves are worse than chimps in terms of reading body language. So the second theory was born. This theory states that dogs are excellent in reading body language because they are domesticated and spend almost all of their time with humans. Sounds plausible, but what about puppies who have stayed with their littermates and have never adapted to humans?

Even at nine-weeks-old, puppies that are still living with their littermates and their mother fare well than chimps or wolves. Hence, it’s not the wolf genes, nor the exposure to humans. With the experiments proving both theories as impossible, we can safely conclude that a dog’s cognitive understanding is due to their domestication hundreds of years ago.

With no scientific fact to rely on, most people would agree that a dog’s behavior and ability to read body language have evolved through living with humans for thousands of years. That and a dog’s loyalty and love for his humans.


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