Posted on September 17, 2016: We have all had that moment where we have lost things in our own room and mother was always to the rescue door, because who else can help you find the lost things! A recent study reveals that even a man’s best friend can help us find the lost stuff. The study says that dogs are sensible enough to understand when we have lost something valuable and with their unique trait of communication with humans, they try to help us find it.
A research initiated by Patrizia Piotti from the Dog Cognition Centre at University of Portsmouth says that dogs and human share the common trait of helpfulness and the dogs showed similar behaviour to children in a series of experiments which involved hidden objects.
Speaking of how they help humans find the lost objects, their helping pattern is usually through barking or moving the eyes towards the direction they suspect the object to be. We are all aware about dogs’ communication skills and with this they try to be as helpful as they can ever get. In a research the dogs were shown two objects, one was a dog toy and other a notepad. When Piotti asked the dogs about ‘where is it gone?’ the dogs directed their gaze towards the toy. But when they realised that Piotti is actually looking for something more important, they drew the attention towards the notepad.
This suggests that dogs could have the ability to understand and differentiate between objects based on human needs. Researchers call this as informative communication. However, it is still unclear whether the dogs were actually helping find the hidden notepad or was it just another fetching game for them. This is the subject matter for future research.
It sounds like an ideal situation, doesn’t it? If not communication then their smelling sense could someday help us find hidden objects in the house? Imagine losing something you urgently need and mom’s not even around. Don’t refrain from asking them ‘where is it’. They will gladly help you, even if it’s just an act of play for them, you’d at least find what you need!
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