Since humans have no tails to wag, they need to look at their best friend for signs they feel happy, scientists say. Researchers at Azabu University in Japan found that dogs have become so attuned to living with humans that they even distinguish a smile, even on the faces of some strangers. Dogs, they said, have an innate ability to recognise each other’s' expressions, but over time they also learned to interpret faces of a completely different species — humans.

For the study, the team trained nine pet dogs using photos of their owners, who were smiling in some of the photos and looking neutral in the others. The dogs were trained to touch their nose to photos of their owner's smiling face. These dogs were then shown photo pairs of smiling and blank-expression faces of unfamiliar people as well as of their owners. When shown photo pairs of either their owner or a stranger who was the same gender as their owner, the dogs selected the smiling faces most of the time, it was found.
Source: TOI

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