How can this be true?
Dogs can’t understand people, and they can’t interpret body language the same way that humans do, can they?
If your dog has ever barked at the sound of an intruder or snapped at a douchey (now ex-) boyfriend or girlfriend, you might have first-hand experience of what this study is talking about.
Senior Kenbrielle Ard doesn’t have a dog of her own, but she said she’s had similar experiences with friends’ dogs.
“There have been times where there will be, like, that one person in the group and your friend may really like them but you might not be sure,” she said. “And you notice that you and their dog are kind of on the same accord.”
Dogs tend to be protective of their owners, and perhaps that’s the case because they’re capable of judging a person’s character.
First-year Madison Westerholt’s two dogs, Snickers and Scooter, make sure their owners are always protected.
“I definitely know, like my dogs they can tell when someone’s being, like if someone’s looking like they’re going to hurt us or whatever, they’re definitely protective of us,” she said.
It’s a different story when Snickers and Scooter see their owners’ friends and their interactions.
“When they’re like friends of ours, they treat them like they would treat us,” Westerholt said.
Fortunately, our furry friends don’t just react when there is danger.
One thing most people cherish about dogs is how loving and comforting they are.
“They tend to just go to people, and I guess they sense people out but they seem to just like people,” Westerholt said.
Sometimes, their reactions are based on their owners’ reactions.
“From what I’ve seen of my friends’ dogs, if you’re aggressive or mean towards their owners they’re kind of like, 'What’s going on?'” Ard said. “But if you’re nice, they’re just happy. Tails wagging, everything’s good.”
Give your dog a treat next time they growl at your ex or the next time they curl up to your friend who’s going through a crisis, because your dog is doing all it can to help.
First-year Jordan Settelen is the proud owner of a border collie-hound mix named Gigi.
“I’ve seen my dog, like whenever someone’s new to our house we act differently around that person, and she’ll sometimes respond to that,” she said.
“And either she’ll go hide or she’ll stay right in the middle of things to make sure like everything’s OK.”
Have you ever been told that your mom can spot a bad friend before you can? Well, maybe that’s true of your dog, too.
It’s no wonder dogs have been called man’s best friend.