Dogs seem to have a basic understanding of the behavior of objects.
Already in our first year of life, people learn about the causal links and behavior of objects. On how one affects the other. For example, how to move an object with the hand. We continue to improve this skill for the rest of our lives and it is used by animals as well. But how well do animals understand these connections?
At the University of Vienna, they conducted an eye tracking study with dogs to find out more about this. Five border collies, two Labradors, a Scottish Shepherd, an Australian Shepherd and five mixtures have seen films of rollerballs whether or not obeying the laws of physics.
In one video, a ball rolled into another ball, causing the latter to move as well. In another video, one ball did not roll far enough to hit the other, but the second ball still moved. The researchers saw that in the video in which the movement of the second ball was incorrect, the dogs looked longer and had larger pupils. According to the researchers, this shows that dogs have a basic understanding of the behavior of objects.
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