Puppy eyes, how many times have you said to your dog, “don’t give me puppy eyes!” Turns out you were right all along. Science tells us that these clever dogs know when to use those eyes to get what they want out of us.
There are thousands of research papers dedicated to dog behaviour and intelligence. Sheer numbers tell us that the subject is not only worth studying but helps us learn about ourselves as human beings.
How is it we have this unique ability to communicate with dogs over all other domesticated animals?
Dogs are considered to be one of the most successful mammals on the planet. Why? Because of all the species on the planet, dogs are found on every continent and are one of the only mammals that do not suffer a decline in population.
Now, as Indians, we are in a unique position to study dog behaviour- first hand, on the street where we live (apologies to My Fair Lady!!) We watch ‘streetie’ navigate traffic, forage for food, raise their young, and most of them will survive to a ripe old age.
How can they do that without an innate understanding of the world around them? They are using an intelligence, even if it is unique to them, to survive. For all the discussions and problems India may face with a street dog population, one fact is true, they are drawing on an intelligence and learning to survive and procreate.
They are also using us, with their emotive eyes, and behaviours. You’ve probably lost count of the number of times you went sprinting over to the nearest ‘paan walla’ to buy a pack of ‘glucose biscuits’ for a dog that looked at you or wagged its tail! Now you’re thinking back… count the number of times -you’ll run out of fingers.
Read the research, and put it into practice, observe your dog, and your streetie, and the research will come to life.