Recent scientific research suggests that man’s best friend understands our needs – even without verbal cues.
A new study, published in the scientific journal Current Biology, suggests that dogs can be as receptive to non-verbal communication signals as a human infant of six months would be.
The research emanating out of Hungary showed that "gaze following" among dogs enables the pets to look into our eyes and understand our “communicative intent.”
Researchers found that when humans establish a first means of communication with a pooch, the dog will respond by following the gaze of the human, which will enable the dog to contemplate our communicative intent.
“Our findings reveal that dogs are receptive to human communication in a manner that was previously attributed only to human infants,” researcher and co-author of the study, Jozsef Topal, said in a press release.
“Increasing evidence supports the notion that humans and dogs share some social skills, with dogs’ social-cognitive functioning resembling that of a 6-month to 2-year-old child in many respects,” he added.
Previous scientific research conducted by Topal also suggests that dogs have become so domesticated that they have become more of a model for human behavior than chimpanzees.
“In my view, pet dogs can be regarded in many respects as ‘preverbal infants in canine’s clothing,” he said.
The recently released study on canine communication comes on the heels of another novel scientific discovery, which has shown that dogs, like humans, could possibly suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The concept of canine PTSD is still highly debated, but research into the condition signals that dogs have striking similarities to humans in response to traumatic events.
Dogs have been used by humans for decades in emergency situations and are increasingly being used by the U.S. military in war zones to sniff out mines, clear buildings, and track down enemies.
In fact, a military dog, known as Cairo, was crucial in leading U.S. forces to Osama bin Laden last year.