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5 Amazing Things Dogs Can Sense About Humans

Written by: Scott H
Scott Haiduc is the Director of Publishing for iHeartDogs, iHeartCats and The Hero Company. When not working, Scott spends his time on the farm, taking care of his animals and crops.Read more
| Published on June 23, 2017

Dogs are extremely keen, intuitive animals that we learn more about every day. It’s recently been discovered that some dogs are able to warn their epileptic owners before a seizure happens, or notify their diabetic owners if their blood sugar is too low. These amazing things haven’t yet been able to be trained and only some dogs display the behavior. But there are things that all dogs can sense about humans, and they’re pretty amazing.

#1 – Your Mood

It shouldn’t be surprising that dogs can sense what mood we’re in. Dogs will often become very stressed when we’re stressed or angry and they’ll often become clingy if we’re sad. In fact, many dog trainers have noticed the difference in results they get from their dogs depending on the mood the trainer is in at the time.

#2 – When You’re Not Paying Attention


Dogs are intelligent and just like people, they know when we aren’t paying attention. Have you ever noticed that you lost sight of your pooch for just 10 seconds and that’s when he stole the hamburger off the table? Dogs know exactly the right time to make their sneaky moves because they know when we aren’t watching, even if we’re standing right there!

#3 – Inequality


A recent study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has shown that dogs can see inequality right before their eyes. In the study, researchers paired dogs together and gave them both the same obedience command. They would reward one dog with a treat while the other got nothing and soon discovered that the neglected dog soon stopped offering the behavior and would even stop paying attention to the researchers altogether. 

#4 – When You’re Sick

While many owners can vouch for their dogs staying close by and comforting them when they’re ill, it’s recently been discovered that dogs might be able to smell cancer cells. Researchers have tested dogs’ noses by having them smell multiple blood samples and watching as the dog indicates the one sample that contains cancer cells. Doctors and scientists hope to soon be able to rely on a dog’s smell for better testing of cancer.

#5 – If You’re Untrustworthy

Japanese researchers at the Kyoto University of Japan studied 34 dogs and published their findings in the journal Animal Cognition. With the knowledge that dogs will explore an area or object pointed out by a human, they wanted to discover how long it would take dogs to realize they were being mislead by humans, if they realized it at all. It turns out the dogs picked up on untrustworthy people pretty quickly. In one round, an experimenter pointed to a container with food inside. The second round, the container had no food and in the third round the food was put back inside. But from following the experimenter to the empty food container in the second round, the dogs had learned not to trust that they would be rewarded, so they stopped following the experimenter’s cues. However, when they brought a different experimenter out, the dog would initial trust that person until they were mislead. 

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