Science Says Man’s Best Friend Doesn’t Really Care to Be His Friend

Unless you've got treats. You have treats, right?

August 12, 2016 9:00 am

If a new study is correct, dogs are more interested in being their own best friends than ours.

The study — which was conducted by University of Portsmouth researchers — tested 24 family dogs to see how they would respond if they observed their owner searching for a “lost” item.

To conduct the test, researchers put a dog toy in one corner of a room and stashed a notebook the dog had observed their owner using or an unfamiliar object like a stapler in another.

When the owner came back into the room and pretended to “search” for the notebook, the dogs would almost always go to their toy instead of going to the corner with the notebook or stapler.

While the results weren’t conclusive, they definitely seemed to indicate the dogs were more interested in playing with their toy than helping out the hand that feeds them.

“Does the dog take an interest in an object that a human is interested in, or only in objects that dogs are interested in?” Arizona State University animal behaviorist Cline Wynne said while speaking with New Scientist. “That got a clear-cut result: dogs only like objects that dogs like.”

Given these findings, if you were considering getting a pooch, maybe wait for the robot version.

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