How do dogs learn to beg for food or behave badly, particularly when they are not paid any attention? It's a combination of specific cues, context and previous experience, says researchers. How your pet comes to respond to the level of people's attentiveness tells us something about the way dogs think and learn about the human behaviour, says university of Florida's Monique Udell, who conducted the study with her team. their research suggests it is down to a combination of specific cues, context and previous experience, reports the journal Learning and Behaviour.

Recent work has identified a remarkable range of human-like social behaviours including dogs’ ability to respond to human body language, verbal commands, and to attentional states, according to Florida statement. Udell and team carried out two experiments comparing the performance of pet dogs, shelter dogs and wolves given the opportunity to beg for food from either an attentive person or from a person unable to see the animal. They showed the first time that wolves, like domestic dogs, are capable of begging successfully for food by approaching the attentive human. This demonstrates that both species have the capacity to behave in accordance with a human's attentional status.

Source: TOI

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