Dogs Understand Human Gestures As Well as Toddlers (and Better Than Chimps)

Two recent studies indicate that dogs understand human gestures such as pointing, head-turning and gazing as well as two year old toddlers and better than primates.

This is a by-product of domestication. Humans have been selectively breeding dogs for thousands of years. (Even though the notion of breeds and breed standards are relatively new, man has been breeding dogs for thousands of years both by accident and by design.) It makes sense that after what some anthropologists estimate to be as long as 10,000 years of breeding for work and companionship, dogs have a unique ability to understand human body language.

So why is it that some trainers insist on trying to duplicate canine communication, even going as far a simulate bites with their hands or creating langauges like “doglish?”

Author: By Eric Goebelbecker


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