A passionate little blog started by a deerhound dog in Scotland called Rogue ‘Brylach’ MacAllister and Passed to Rascal ‘Logan’ Dorrator Heath

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Deerhounds know when they are in the doghouse

An interesting article was printed in todays Herald, not that we deerhounds need research to understand the subject . . . we just do!

Read below, and if this line of research interests you - follow through on the links to further expand your interest.

Hounds may know if they’re in doghouse

Dogs seem to read emotion in human faces in the same way people do, scientists say.

It may be evidence that they can see at a glance whether we are happy, sad, pleased or - particularly - angry.

When humans look at a face their eyes tend to look left and fall on the right-hand side first.

This "left gaze bias" only occurs with human faces not with animals or inanimate objects.

Researchers at the University of Lincoln have shown that pet dogs also exhibit left gaze bias, but only when looking at human faces. No other animal has been known to display this behaviour.

A team led by Dr Kun Guo showed 17 dogs images of human, dog and monkey faces, and of inanimate objects, and found strong left gaze bias with human faces but not with other images, including those of dogs.

New Scientist magazine reported yesterday: "Guo suggests that over thousands of generations of association with humans, dogs may have evolved the left gaze bias as a way to gauge our emotions.

"Recent studies show that the right side of our faces can express emotions more accurately and more intensely than the left, including anger. If true, then it makes sense for dogs - and humans - to inspect the right hand side of a face first."

Whether left gaze bias means that dogs read human emotions is still uncertain.

Dr Guo believes he has some evidence that they can distinguish between emotional states. A follow-up study showed that angry human faces induce a much stronger left gaze bias in dogs than neutral or happy faces.


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