We laugh and say, "Look at that jealous mutt."
Well aha! Thanks to the razor-keen eye of our dependable Doug, I can now relay scientific proof that our dog is trying to run us through the emotional wringer.
Ask them to do a trick and they'll give it a try. For a reward, sausage say,
they'll happily keep at it. But if one dog gets no reward, and then sees
another get sausage for doing the same trick, just try to get the first one to
do it again. Indeed, he may even turn away and refuse to look at you.
So says this report from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, based on a study from The University of Vienna's Clever Dog Lab. In controlled circumstances, dogs were put in pairs and asked to shake. When both got rewards, hunky dory; if one got a reward and the other didn't, well, disapproval was made known. I must admit I couldn't help but laugh at this observation:
One thing that did surprise the researchers was that — unlike primates — the
dogs didn't seem to care whether the reward was sausage or bread.
*ahem* Dogs? You mean like they'll eat anything dogs? You think they care?
Anyway, Doug's citation here. The university of Vienna's Clever Dog Lab here!