There are some research projects that just beggar belief i.e. that money is actually spent on this stuff. The latest case of this is an ‘experiment’ run down at the University of Portsmouth that has reached the stunning conclusion… wait for it… that dogs can understand some of their human’s perspective on things. Now, call me an ignorant non-scientific member of the general herd of sheep known as the dumb public, but you know what, I think you, or I, or even my dog could have told them that.
I know that subjective anecdote is not considered hard evidence in the scientific world but was it really necessary to run the following study. 84 dogs with their owners and a bowl of tempting food (not all in the same room at the same time one assumes); 84 dogs forbidden, in broad daylight, to eat the food. The dogs mainly comply. Then, the lights go off. Left in the dark with the humans that can’t see them: the dogs mainly eat the food. And I bet the dogs wouldn’t have been fooled if the researchers had made them put their paws over their eyes like those silly human babies are… Now you see me, now you don’t… The average poocher ain’t falling for that, no sir.
Any dog owner could have told you the same and the really intelligent ones don’t even wait until it’s dark – merely until your back is turned.
Dogs have a theory of mind? You betcha. Dogs, and other animals, are not the simpletons arrogant humans like to assume they are. Well, who knew? I mean, really.
Science? Have you really nothing better to do?
Rudi and Laddie: Plotting
One look at those faces tells you more about the inner life of dogs than some silly old lights on/off experiment.