6 Proofs Your Dog Does Behave Like You
Think about it! Dogs have been with us for around 30,000 years! Actually my dog Riley has been around for only 9 years, but however long, ever since the moment they settled down with people, we just can’t imagine life without dogs.
But the big, important question remains: just how close are humans and dogs to each other, and what are the key factors in this long and happy relationship? My dog thinks it’s cookies and playing tug of war, but hey, let’s count them down! 1) Survival of the friendliest It’s unbelievable that fierce, wild wolves could become human’s best friends over time.
Yeah that sounds weird — the well-known phrase is actually “man’s best friend”, but hey, I don’t want to NOT be PC here, right? Anyway, that thing about wolves isn’t even the most surprising thing about dogs’ evolution.
Today, some scientists think it wasn’t people who domesticated wolves, but the other way around. US scientists from Duke University, Dr. Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods, think it was wolves who learned how to be friendlier to people! If we look at this fact with the rule of thumb of evolution – survival of the fittest, it doesn’t make any sense! But think of it the other way around.
Humankind didn’t survive solely because of our strength, but also because we could agree with each other and the world around us – domestication itself is part of this process! One could say that the ability to be friendly and caring is one of our natural strengths.
(And don’t we all need to use more of that these days!) Well, the same thing applied to wolves at some point. Throughout all history, wolves were our enemies and humans were their worthy opponents. So worthy, actually, that wolves learned that messing with people too much was detrimental to their survival.
This is how friendlier wolves came to be in the first place. Fortunately, people could appreciate their calm behavior enough to leave them be at first, but later it seems that they also found those friendly wolves to be useful and… cute! Of course, this was a really long process, but the result was the first dogs that were born to live alongside people; and the rest is history.
What a great story! I really want to believe in it, because that would mean that we’re a lot closer to our fluffy friends than we ever thought. 2) Dogs have individual IQ levels For centuries, we thought we were the only species in the world that has intelligence.
Well, those beliefs are better left in the past! We already know that dolphins are so smart, they refer to each other by name. We know how good chimps, parrots, crows, and octopuses are at problem-solving.
But if we decide to look closer at our everyday life, there’s another great example of animal brilliance. Dogs, obviously! Yes, every dog owner will tell you that their dog is the smartest in the world, but now we can actually measure their intelligence, just like we measure ours! Newly developed in the London School of Economics, IQ tests for dogs show that intelligence levels not only differ between the breeds, but that they’re absolutely individual for each and every dog there is.
The test takes about an hour, just like a human IQ test, and consists of three parts. The first part shows how quickly a dog can find its way to a food source or a treat that’s, of course, well-hidden.
The second part measures a dog’s skill in determining what food source is better for it in terms of quantity, and its skill in decision-making overall. The third part is the toughest; it tests a dog’s capacity to understand human gestures, specifically pointing at an object where food is hidden.
Wow, that means now I can compete with my dog in an IQ test! It’d be hilarious if Riley beats me. 3) Smarter dogs live longer Dogs overall helped to form our civilization; their influence is immense! And it seems like they’re not done helping us.
The same study that provided us with the tools to measure dogs’ IQ, may be onto something even greater. The thing is, the intelligence of a dog is very similar to the intelligence of a human being. Statistical research shows that people with higher IQs are more likely to be healthy and live longer.
As it turns out, it’s the same for dogs. The problem with people is that they’re much more difficult subjects for further research on this correlation. Dogs are much better because they have no bad habits and their ration is much easier to normalize.
The other thing is that dogs, just like humans, can develop symptoms of dementia as they get older. If we can one day produce a treatment for this condition, we would likely be obliged to thank dogs for it.
4) Dogs are more like us than our closest relative In fact, dogs are the only species that shows intellectual skills shockingly similar to those of human babies. If you show a picture of an object to a chimp, it won’t understand what you mean by that.
Dogs can understand the shown image and bring an object that resembles it. In another experiment, several objects were named for a dog. The dog not only knew the objects by name, but also tried to name new, unfamiliar objects with other specific sounds! Chimps can’t do that at all, and they are the closest to us in the evolutionary tree! More than that, the skills that dogs demonstrate now were considered unique to humans and observed only in the behavior of little babies before.
It doesn’t just show how smart dogs are; the truth behind their abilities is much more charming. Dogs have just been around us for so long that they’ve become tuned-in to us. They want to be close to us.
That’s why their minds have become so similar to ours. 5) Dogs lose their sleep in stressful situations How many times have you told yourself “Don’t let it get to your head! Don’t you dare!” when you’re already laying in your bed, trying to get some sleep.
And then nothing helps: unpaid taxes, clocks on a wall ticking too loud, people around you looking at you funny, or are you just imagining things? So much stress! At least you’re not alone – around 30% of people suffer from insomnia at any given time.
But, unfortunately, the circle of this disaster doesn’t end here. Dogs are highly susceptible to it too! According to a collective study from the Hungarian Academy of Science in Budapest, a dog’s experiences accumulated throughout the day have a direct impact on the quality of sleep they get at night.
If something goes wrong – poor puppy, the night will be long and fruitless. If everything is alright – it will dream sweet dreams of running through soft, green grass, chasing plump rabbits, or whatever.
Heck when Riley sleeps sometimes all four feet are moving, and he actually barks in his sleep, too. Does your dog do stuff like that also? Tell me about it down in the comments. Anyway, here’s an idea for everyone: Let’s be kinder to puppies of all ages, and let them sleep tight.
6) Dogs and humans have similar microbiomes. First of all, what in the heck are microbiomes? Well, I don’t know how you’ll react to this; but there’s a whole jungle inside you. Not literally, of course, but our insides are the greatest place for all kinds of organisms to live.
Don’t rush for an antibacterial soap just yet, and listen — most of the time, being a host for all kinds of microscopic life is actually good for you! For example, you won’t be able to digest milk properly without them; and they even do some good for your emotional balance.
In fact, there are so many microbes in us – they outnumber our own cells. We’re literally overflowing with life! All the genetic information from those microbes, presented in the form of DNA, is called the microbiome.
European Molecular Biology Laboratory and Nestlé Research presented studies that shows how changes in the diets of humans and dogs have similar effects on their microbiomes. The similarities are far stronger than we could’ve expected – much stronger than those with pigs and mice, which were considered prime candidates for dietary research before.
It turns out, if we develop a better diet for dogs, we would know what foods are healthy for us too! Who knew thousands of years of living together could result in something like that? All of this is about science and pure data, but personal experience is what bonds us with dogs so much.
Share your own! Tell us what similarities you have with dogs in your everyday life in the comment section. And don’t forget to leave this video a like, share it with your friends (and your dog), and click subscribe to always stay on the Bright Side of life!