Who is man’s best friend? Who is the most loyal of all beings? You already know the answer. When a dog loves you, they give you their whole heart. They would die for you in a jiff.
But, is it selfless love? Does your pup love you so much that they wouldn’t mind sharing you? I bet these are some of the nagging questions that Psychology professor, Christina Harris had to fight off before she finally decided to proceed with her study. What did she do? She identified 36 dog parents and sold them her elaborate scheme. She instructed them to deliberately ignore their pups and instead focus their attention on a toy dog, a jack-o-lantern pail, and a pop-up book that played melodies.
The participants were instructed to feign affection for these objects and treat them like they would their dogs. Christina observed that the dogs were twice as likely to touch or push their parent when the parent’s attention was directed towards the fake dog than when they were focused on the jack-o-lantern or the book. Moreover, 30% of the dogs put themselves between their parent and the stuffed dog while 25% became hostile towards the fake dog.
Only one dog snapped at the jack-o-lantern or the book. The other dogs did not see these two objects as potential threats. What’s the takeaway here? Dogs can tell when you give them less attention. They will especially be threatened if it involves another pup. So, if you are going to get another dog, give them equal love. It may be key to them getting along.
Feature Image Source: Pixabay