Dogs Can Tell When You’re Not Nice to Their Owners, Study Finds

TIME

Scientists are learning more and more about why dogs are man’s best friend, and a new study suggests they can tell when people aren’t being kind to their owners.

Japanese researchers conducted an experiment where three groups of 18 dogs each watched their owners interact with two other strangers and try and open a box, AFP reports. In the first group, the owner asked for help from one of the people and was refused. In the second group, the owner asked for help and received it from one person. And in the third group, both people were neutral and neither helped nor refused.

Afterwards, the two people accompanying the owner offered the dog food. Researchers said the dogs were more likely to choose food from the neutral participant and ignore the person who refused to help in the first group.

“We discovered for the first time that dogs make…

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