Mark Twain once said “the more I learn about people, the more I like my dog” and based on the latest research into this wonderous animal I would like to add “ and the more I learn about dogs, the more I like my dog”. Dogs are often called man’s best friend and the latest research into canine’s intelligence and emotion starts to show why.
MRI scanners have been used for years to better understand the human brain but now they are also being used to understand the canine brain as well. The machine can be used to look at brain activity and has shown that dogs are pretty smart.
While we all know that when a dog sees its owner it gets excited it has now been proven through brain activity as blood flows to the eyes, ears, and paws (and probably tail) when an owner shows up. Not only this but a study has shown that dogs can actually interpret different expressions on a human face and can understand whether they are happy or sad. Those occasions when you cried and your dog approached you, he really was trying to help.
Psychologists now believe that dogs are as smart as young children with the capacity to learn over 200 words and a basic level of maths.
One of the nicest findings of the study was the effect that patting has on a dog. Patting a dog can reduce its anxiety greatly resulting in a lower heart rate. So pat your dog more! There were no studies on cats presented but as a dog owner, I can assure you that any study would simply highlight how evil cats are in comparison.
It is an exciting time in modern science as we understand humanity, technology and the world around us even more. It now appears we will get to understand dogs more too. Hooray!