Introducing some remarkable dogs whose advanced sense of hearing aids their masters.
At the University of Otago in New Zealand, psychology researchers are running experiments to find out if dogs really can detect human emotional messages. Over the course of a year, a team of students has put 58 dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds through their paces. Some have been shown images of people expressing raw emotion, while other dogs have been given a specific verbal instruction from humans displaying a range of expressions. Can man’s best friend really gauge his master’s emotions?
Can a dog sense impending death? Scamp, a miniature Schnauzer which lives at The Pines nursing home in Canton, Ohio, raises the alarm when he senses that one of the senior residents is about to die. He does this by barking and pacing around the room and refusing to leave the pensioner’s bedside. To date, he has seemingly predicted no fewer than 40 deaths that have occurred at the home. The nurses believe he offers comfort to the residents and his warnings allow family members a chance to say a last goodbye. But are Scamp’s extraordinary abilities actually just down to a spate of coincidences?
Finally, in Hungary, Péter Pongrácz of the University of Budapest has studied the meaning behind a dog’s bark. Peter and his team share what their fascinating research has revealed about how dogs really communicate with each other.