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jackie

duh, maybe the dogs were smart enough to know that the owner was faking it...I used to pretend to cry to see if Bill(the smartest dog in the world) would do anything..he smelled my face and then sat down and grinned at me..but once when I was really crying, he freaked out..jumped in my lap, was licking my face, nudging me with his nose and whimpered...so I think they need to taser the owner and have him drop to the ground and then see what the dog would do...

Jimmy

I tried that once! Abigail stole my wallet and Emily stole my cell phone!

Diamond Emerald-Eyes

You know, humans smell different when they are sick or hurt. "Faking" an accident is not going to cause this smell to kick in. They get that "Hah, I'm going to trick you" smell instead. So the dog knows it fake. When humans learn to fake smells, try this over again. Until then, quit bothering. We know what you are up to.

"Sunshine"

From my Google home page quote of the day, as it is oh so fitting for this story:

"Science is facts; just as houses are made of stones, so is science made of facts; but a pile of stones is not a house and a collection of facts is not necessarily science." - Henri Poincare

jayne d'Arcy

I agree with everyone else; the dogs knew it was fake. I don't think Marcus would help if I were hurt, but Panda would throw a fit that someone would notice.

teetotaled

I love your Misty dialogue!

schnoodlepooh

My 87 year old father rolled his ATV on top of himself a few years back when he was on his farm. His dog took off running - for help, he hoped. However the dog never came back. Dad eventually wiggled his way out from under the heavy machine, righted it, and found his way home. It was hours later. He found his dog taking a nap on the front lawn.

BunGirl

I'm with some of the other posters -- I don't think the dogs were fooled. They conducted this experiment to fool the dogs based on visual stimuli, but we all know that vision is NOT the dog's most-used sense. All that they proved is that dogs can tell the difference when we're faking. There have been plenty of instances (there's a whole TV show on Animal Planet!) of dogs (and cats and other pets) rescuing their owners from situations where they were not trained to do anything.

My guess, the dogs were trying to figure out why their owners decided to take a nap in the middle of the park or why their owners didn't just move the shelves. They didn't smell stress or illness, so they weren't concerned.

Hope

You've got to wonder - what possible field could these "researchers" be experts in? Animal behavior? Not likely!

cube

I think dogs have to be trained to save people. I know my two wouldn't win any prizes in the category.

Charlie dog (the so called poodle terrorist)

Tricky one this, I think I would certainly paw at my human to make her get up. After that I'd probably just sit on her until help arrived!

Charlie Boy

Matt

Interesting article, even if it is partial to the poodles :-)

Simply Jenn

I'm pretty sure my female German Shepherd would go home with any stranger that would feed her like your Misty. I agree with everyone else that said the dogs could probably tell it was fake.

Therese

I'm guessing the dogs were thinking something like, "What's with these people. They want us to go get help when these people are faking it? Humans!! Whadda they know?!"

AuthorMomWithDogs

Thanks for pointing out the holes in the research, Jan. For some people, just reading that it was done by scientists is enough to get them to stop thinking critically.

Kahshe Cottager aka Jen

You really don't know I guess until there is a situation. My hubby teased me recently by whacking my behind with a rolled up newspaper - it made a big noise but nothing else. I yelped in surprise and then again when my littlest terrier went after him with teethed bared and snapping at him. He had to put the newspaper between him and the teeth until I could get there and calm her down. I have never ever seen her do anything like this before or since but I sure think she was determined to protect me. She has never been hit and we have never whacked newspapers at or near our dogs.

Now if I collapsed in a heap, she would probably think "Goody, we're having a nap!" and then she would curl up behind my knees (her favourite spot in the bed) and snore!

Steve Bartlett

My Eskipoo (Lisa) can recogize a Guinness tap in a crowded pub -- what more do I need?

T-man

Apparently dogs can sense human illnesses through scent (or intuition) and can warn their people ahead of time. If the person was faking a heart attack, the dog probably knew it. Dogs (especially poodles) are geniuses, as we know!

Coll

I think this is quite insulting to the dogs. I'll bet'ya they knew it was rigged.

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Dramatis Personae

  • Misty the alpha Poodle
    In her spare time
    she studies quantum theory and
    reads Proust
  • Timmy the stud muffin
    aka
    “The Jaws of Death”
    “The Silver Assassin”
  • Chamois the generic dog
    The world’s only
    Miniature Albanian Wolfhound
    because we were tired
    of telling people she was a mutt
  • Tudee the Rescue
    Half Chihuahua, half linebacker
    Found in a busy intersection
    telling the cars that
    she was there first

  • Taki
    A loving cat who came off the streets
    and into our lives
    and never left
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