How quickly your dog responds to you has a lot to do with the look on your face and the tone of your voice, according to a study at Brigham Young University.
Your dog may not respond more quickly if you use a positive tone, but he’s likely to respond much more slowly if you’re using a negative one, according to the study, published in the journal Animal Cognition.
Brigham Young psychology professor Ross Flom and his research team conducted two experiments examining how dogs reacted to both positive and negative emotions.
“We know that dogs are sensitive to our emotional cues,” Flom said, “but we wanted to know: do they use these emotional cues?” he said.
The experiments measured how quickly dogs responded to an adult’s pointing gesture.
Some of the adults exhibited positive behaviors while making the gestures, such as smiling and speaking in a pleasant tone; others exhibited negative behaviors, such as frowning, furrowing their brow or speaking harshly.
As most dog owners could have predicted, the negative behaviors made dogs a little less cooperative and slow to react — proving yet again (as we also already know) you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
(Has anyone actually done a study on that?)
While dogs who sensed the pointing adults were angry reacted more slowly, dogs whose pointing adults reflected a positive attitude didn’t react any more speedily than those in a control group.
We can only assume those in the control group were issued orders by adults whose faces were expressionless and who spoke like Ben Stein.
Flom concluded that dogs use our tone and emotion to determine how fast to follow an order — or, to put it more scientifically …
“Together these results suggest that the addition of affective information does not significantly increase or decrease dogs’ point-following behavior. Rather these results demonstrate that the presence or absence of affective expressions influences a dog’s exploratory behavior and the presence or absence of reward affects whether they will follow an unfamiliar adult’s attention-directing gesture.”
Apparently, random human strangers were doing the gesturing in the study, as opposed to the owners of the dogs involved.
That, we suspect, would have made a big difference in a dog’s level of trust and eagerness to respond.
That dogs will take off and explore a new area or object based on a stranger’s request shows that dogs generally trust humans.
That dogs — or any animals for that matter — are slow to react to one who appears angry is really no big surprise, either.
That’s generally true in the human arena as well, with the exception of those being yelled at by drill sergeants, prison guards or junior high gym coaches.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 25th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adults, anger, angry, animals, attitude, behaviors, brigham young university, cognition, directing, dog, dogs, emotions, experiment, face, gestures, harsh, humans, negative, owners, pets, pointing, positive, psychology, study, tones, voice
That 22-pound cat whose aggressive behavior forced an entire Oregon family (including the dog) to take refuge in a locked bedroom is going to get some therapy, according to its owner.
Lee Palmer, of Portland, says the 4-year-old part-Himalayan cat, named Lux, is scheduled to see a veterinarian and to get a house call from a pet psychologist, according to the Associated Press.
Palmer called 911 Sunday to report that the cat had “gone over the edge,” scratching his infant son and chasing the family into a bedroom.
“We’re trapped in our bedroom and he won’t let us out of the door,” Palmer told the emergency dispatcher.
“He’s trying to attack us. He’s very, very, very, very hostile. He’s at our door. He’s charging us.”
You can download an MP3 of the 911 call here.
Palmer says Lux attacked his 7-month-old son, inflicting several scratches, after the baby pulled its tail. He said he kicked the cat in the rear to make it stop, which only led the cat to get angrier.
Officers arrived at the home around 8 p.m., according to the Portland Oregonian, and used a catchpole to snare the cat, who had darted into the kitchen and jumped atop a refrigerator.
Police issued a press release about the incident Monday and by Wednesday it had gained international attention.
Palmer says the family has received proposals from people wanting to adopt Lux, but the family is not taking them up on it
While Palmer told officers the cat has a history of violent behavior, the family plans to keep him, and keep a close eye on him, he said.
“We’re not getting rid of him right now. He’s been part of our family for a long time.”
Posted by John Woestendiek March 13th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 22 pounds, aggressive, angry, animal control, animals, baby, cat, cats, dog, dogs, family, held, himalayan, hostage, lux, oregon, pets, police, portland, psychologist, scratched, therapy, veterinarian, violent
A Florida man who was angry with his mother tried to drown her two dogs in a nearby lake in Pompano Beach, tossing both of them into the water while they were enclosed in their crates, police said.
An animal control officer saved one of the dogs, a terrier mix. A second dog, a pregnant miniature pinscher, drowned, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
“This was just a despicable act,” city spokeswoman Sandra King said. King said a witness called authorities after seeing a man take the crates to the lake and toss them in. She said an animal control officer, who is also a diver, pulled the dogs from about 15 feet of water.
Deputies arrested Deangelo Veus, 29, who was jailed on two counts of animal cruelty. According to the Florida Department of Corrections, Veus spent about 19 months in prison for robbery, carrying a concealed firearm and felony driving with a suspended license.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 7th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, angry, animal control, animal cruelty, argument, attempt, broward county, crates, deangelo veus, diver, dogs, drown, drowning, florida, lake, man, miniature pinscher, mother, officer, pets, Pompano Beach, rescued, saved, son, terrier mix
New research shows babies have a handle on the meaning of different dog barks – despite little or no previous exposure to dogs.
Infants just 6 months old can match the sounds of an angry snarl and a friendly bark to photos of dogs displaying threatening and welcoming body language, according to researchers at Brigham Young University.
“Emotion is one of the first things babies pick up on in their social world,” said BYU psychology professor Ross Flom, lead author of the study. Flom and two BYU students report their findings in the journal Developmental Psychology.
The new findings come on the heels of a study from the same lab showing that infants can detect mood swings in Beethoven’s music.
“We chose dogs because they are highly communicative creatures both in their posture and the nature of their bark,” Flom said.
In the experiment, the babies first saw two different pictures of the same dog, one in an aggressive posture and the other in a friendly stance. Then the researchers played – in random order – sound clips of a friendly and an aggressive dog bark.
Posted by John Woestendiek July 23rd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: angry, babies, bark, barks, brigham young university, byu, difference, dog, dogs, emotions, friendly, infants, meaning, psychology, research, snarl, study, understanding, yap
Other than humans, who aren’t always real good at it, dogs are the only animals that can read emotion in human faces, scientists at England’s University of Lincoln claim.
Their research findings suggest (as most any dog owner knows) that dogs can see at a glance if we are happy, sad, pleased or angry.
According to the study, dogs, like humans, have developed something called “left gaze bias,” wherein, when we’re looking at a person’s face, our eyes wander left and examine the right hand side of that face.
Scientists believe the right side of the human face expresses emotions more accurately and more intensely, and that humans, stupid as we otherwise are, have figured that out, if only on a subconscious level.
Helfpul tip: If you’re having trouble figuring out which side of the face you’re looking at is which, think of the right hand side as the passenger side, the left hand side as the driver side. If you’re still confused, remember that the right side of the person’s face you’re looking at would be on your left, unless of course a mirror is involved. If you’re even more confused now, and getting angry about it, have your dog look at the right (passenger, unless you’re in Europe) side of your face. If he sulks and walks away with his tail between his legs, you are indeed angry.
But back to the study, which showed that dogs exhibit “left gaze bias,” but only when looking at human faces. No other animal has been known to display this behavior before.
In the research, a team led by Dr. Kun Guo showed 17 dogs images of human, dog and monkey faces as well as inanimate objects.
Film of the dogs’ eye and head movement exhibited a strong left gaze bias (not to be confused with left wing bias) when the animals were presented with human faces. But this did not occur when they were shown other images, including those of dogs.
Guo believes that, over the centuries they’ve been associated with humans, dogs have evolved the left gaze bias as a way to gauge our emotions.
Posted by John Woestendiek November 7th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: angry, animals, behavior, canine, dog, dogs, emotions, expressions, faces, feelings, happy, left gaze bias, news, pleased, read, recognition, recognize, sad, science, study, university of lincoln