At the Messerli Research Institute in Vienna, 20 dogs were presented with happy and unhappy faces side by side on a touch screen. The results are remarkable! To make sure the results weren’t skewed, the group was split in half. 10 dogs were trained to identify the unhappy faces while the other 10 were trained to identify the happy faces. Their answers were correct most of the time. They also only tested the lower half of the face, using frown lines and mouth positions. What was more astounding is that the happier faces were much more appealing for the dogs to approach so they trained a lot faster. Smart dogs!
Since dogs are known for their sense of smell and hearing, this experiment was truly incredible. Dogs’ resolution of vision is 7 times lower than their other senses. But it’s obvious now that they do understand what we are feeling. So make sure you keep those faces smiling for your pooches! And for yourself!
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