Have you ever wondered what is going on in your dog’s mind? How much do they really understand? All we really know about them is that they love to greet us at the door, give us sloppy kisses and that they never get tired of chasing their tail or fetching balls.
This same curiosity has animal scientists trying to answer some of life’s most dog-related questions, like: Why do some dogs tilt their heads when we talk to them?
As reported by Mashable, a recent study published in Animal Cognition, a peer-reviewed scientific journal, explored dog head tilting by observing when and in which direction dogs tilt their heads while performing a cognitively taxing task.
The task was to retrieve a specific toy from another room after being prompted by the toy’s name, this required the dogs to not only recognize the toy’s name as a command, but also to recall it and fetch it.
The authors observed 40 dogs and found that those who were particularly good at toy recall tilted their heads when hearing the command more often than dogs who were not. Researchers suggest the head tilters may be showing signs of paying attention or even matching a name to an image in their head.
Another research on dogs used brain scans to show that the right side of dogs brains tend to be more active in processing positive or praise words.
This study is still in the early stages of scientific research, but it brings us one stop closer to understanding our four-legged friends.