For those with a troubled memory, your dog could bring outcome. At least, according to a survey by Patrizia Piotti in PlosOne. Dogs seem to understand where we have put something valuable. And then they are quite willing to help us.And they do what they can to try to help us find it - at least in the lab.
The study from the University of Portsmouth wanted above all to answer the question if helpfulness is a typical human trait. To some extent it seems that it is, because the dogs –according to the researchers, especially helped in their own interest. Nevertheless, the four-legged friends seemed to understand that something was important for their human, and showed them the lost item.
Researcher Patricia Piotti started writing in a notebook, while a dog watched her.In total, she did so with 48 dogs, and besides the notebook there were two objects, a stapler and a dog toy. She then left the room, taking the relevant object with her, so that the dog saw it go out. An assistant then took the object back inside, and hid in one of the three columns in the room. To make it more difficult, in stage 1 only the relevant object , the notepad, was available, later also the two distraction objects.
Then the investigator himself came back, pretending to look for the object, and in some casestalking to the dog, questioned as "Where is it?" and "Where did he go? '.
It could be derived from the research that the dogs after the investigator returned significantly longer turned their attention to the column containing the notebook, and the stapler got much less attention. According Piotti evidence for the helpfulness of the dog. Piotti: "Dogs have excellent options when it comes to communicating with humans. There seems some evidence that dogs can distinguish between objects based on the need of a human to them.".
She added that further efforts are needed to prove that the dog actually tried to be helpful, and not only plays "get".
For those who are really planning to use their dog as an aid to find missing car keys or eyeglasses. Keep toys away. Piotti also noted that dogs are much more interested in finding hidden toys than her missing notebook.
For those with a troubled memory, your dog could bring outcome. At least, according to a survey by Patrizia Piotti in PlosOne. Dogs seem to understand where we have put something valuable.