As we’re all familiar, dogs come in all sorts of different shapes, sizes and breeds, yet despite their differences we can still recognize that a dog is a dog. However, this leaves the question, can dogs visually recognize other dogs, even when one looks completely different to another? A team of researchers from France set out to answer that question through a study conducted in 2013, which yielded interesting results.
Nine different dogs participated in the study, where the researchers first established a common language with the dogs in order to determine their level of recognition. The 9 subjects were shown two images on two different screens, with one image being that of a dog and the other of, either a blank screen, a blue screen or an image of a cow. In order to determine that the dogs could recognize a dog through sight alone, the dog was rewarded each time it approached the screen with the image of a dog on it. After three different training sessions for each dog, where the dog successfully approached the image of the dog 10 out of 12 times, they were all ready for the real test.
During the official study, the dogs were now faced with one screen that would show varying images of dogs, mixed in with images of other animal faces. All of the 9 dogs, successfully approached the images of the dogs over the other images that were shown. This led researchers to conclude that dogs can in fact, identify other dog breeds and recognize that they are also dogs from mere sight alone.
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