Dogs can recognize rudeness and they use that knowledge in how they behave around mean humans, a new study, published recently in the journal Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, has found.
Researchers from Canada and Japan studied dogs and monkeys in a series of experiments designed to observe how the animals would behave in a so-called moral situation, the New Scientist reported.
Dogs watched as their owners tried to open a container while two actors stood nearby. One of the actors either helped or refused to help while the second actor stood by passively in both scenarios.
Then the dogs were offered treats. They accepted treats from both the helpful or passive actor, but refused treats, in a majority of cases, from the actor who was behaving rudely, essentially judging the mean actor on how he treated another person, the study concluded.
Researchers also discovered Capuchin monkeys behaved in the same way in similar experiments using a third party instead of a dog owner.
Scientists concluded that the monkeys understood helpfulness and fairness and that the dogs were able to comprehend and sought to avoid a rude person.
Both dogs and monkeys viewed rude people negatively, scientists said. They also concluded that animals are socially aware of the human and animal behavior around them.