The dog is the best friend of man and, as he is able to feel jealous, suggesting that the feeling may have roots in the survival instinct, US scientists revealed in a recently published study in the journal “PLoS One”.
Scientists tested 36 dogs and their owners in an experiment in which humans had to play with three different objects in front of your pet.
One of the objects was a toy dog that was barking and shaking his tail whenever pressing button. The owners then had to play with it like a real dog for one minute.
The researchers asked the owners repeat the procedure in the next phase of the experiment with a lantern -shaped pumpkin Halloween, and pretend play with her like a dog.
Finally, they asked to read aloud from a book “pop-up” children who played music, as if telling the story to a small child.
Give me attention!
According to scholars, some canine behaviors were much more frequent when humans played with lying dog than with other objects. Dogs most often bitten, pulled their owners and pushed the object, trying to stand between the owner and the dog lie, than with the other toys.
The dogs also showed twice as likely to pull their owners (78% of the animals did it) when he or she was playing with the toy dog than when the interaction occurred with the pumpkin (42%). Only 22% did so with the book.
About 30% of the dogs tried to stand between the owner and the toy dog and 25% snapped up the stuffed dog.
The animals studied were of different breeds such as dachshund, lulu-of-Pomeranian, Boston Terrier, Maltese, pug. Nearly half of the dogs studied was of mixed race. The research was led by Christine Harris and Caroline Prouvost of the University of California, San Diego.
“Our study suggests that not only the dogs have behavior that could indicate jealousy, but they tried to break the bond between the owner and an apparent rival,” said Harris. “We can not speak for the subjective experience of dogs, of course, but it seems they were motivated to protect an important social bond for them.”