Puppies and Us: A Matter of Genetics

Perception specialists have long known that there is something unique about dogs in the animal world: they can understand part of our body language. They know, for example, that a finger pointing in one direction means looking in that direction; And the Watch carefully we faces when talking to them. Is it learning at a young age or do puppies have this ability from birth?

According to a team of American researchers, it is therefore partially genetic. their studiesPosted on 3 June in Review current biology, Consists of interacting with at least 375 8-week Golden Retrievers and Labradors. And these interactions lead them to the conclusion that these abilities actually emerge too quickly in many of these puppies to be a mere result of learning –Bonus attraction, for example. The dog will already be born, at least in part, with this ability to follow the direction the finger is pointing.

On the other hand, at eight weeks, the puppy has not yet learned to “ask for help”: puppies faced with the difficult task of opening a box with food, can look at a human. , but only for a second. And not with the insistence of an old dog trying to attract the attention of his favorite human…

Photo: Jonathan Kreese/Flickr

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