As a dog owner, you probably already understand that your pet can sense either when things are “hunky-dory” in your household or everything is not quite as it should be with you. But now this gut feeling has been backed up by veterinary researchers in Austria. Their tests have shown that dogs not only sense the feelings of their owners, but can quickly learn to recognise the facial expressions of humans, even strangers.
In the new study, the researchers trained dogs to tell the difference between photos of 15 people making either a happy or angry face. The pups were so good at it, that they were able to tell whether someone was happy or angry when looking at only half their face.
After training, they could even work out the difference in expressions when they looked at photos of people they’d never seen before.
And previous research in the UK has suggested that dogs have developed a similar technique to us when looking at a human face.
Your dog really might be “man’s best friend”!