Dogs know when their owners are lying as they can 'sniff out' the truth, claim scientists

DOGS seem to know when people are lying and have ways of "sniffing out" the truth, say scientists.

Researchers in Japan, probing just how clever our canine friends are, discovered dogs can remember if a person is to be trusted or not.

The shock findings – published in the Animal Cognition journal – mean they seem to be pretty quick at figuring people out.

Akiko Takaoka, who led the study at Kyoto University , told the BBC: "Dogs have more sophisticated social intelligence than we thought.

"This social intelligence evolved selectively in their long life history with humans."

The research team came to their startling conclusion after carrying out tests on dozens of trusting pets.

They followed the theory that if a person points at something, a dog will normally run and sniff out what they are being directed towards.

Testing that hypothesis, a researcher pointed each mutt towards a container filled with food.

However, during the second test the container was left empty.

The third time the scientist pointed towards the container most of the dogs totally ignored the instruction.

Takaoka said the tests showed dogs could use their experiences to assess whether or not the human had lied to them in the past.

She added she was surprised that the dogs "devalued the reliability of a human" so quickly.

John Bradshaw, a veterinary scientist at the University of Bristol, said that dogs like their lives to be predictable.

He said: "Dogs are very sensitive to human behaviour but they have fewer preconceptions

"They live in the present, they don't reflect back on the past in an abstract way, or plan for the future."

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