Dogs might look like they have nothing but unconditional love for us. It turns out, though, that it’s not so unconditional.
Dogs observe human behavior and make decisions about us, according to a new study reported on in the New Scientist. Kyoto University’s James Anderson and his team looked into social evaluations in dogs and monkeys and discovered that these animals are totally checking us out and passing judgement.
Turns out that both animals like people who are nice. Here’s how they proved it with dogs.
A dog’s owner sat between two actors and tried to open a container, then passed it to one of the actors. One helped the owner open it and the other didn’t.
Then, each actor took turns offering the dog a treat alongside the dog’s owner. When the helpful actor offered the dog a treat, the dog showed no preference between the owner or the actor. When the unhelpful actor offered a treat with the owner, the dog chose the owner.
It shows that the dogs are watching our moves. So if your dog is giving you that unconditional-love look, you might be doing something right.