Dogs are commonly known as delightful human companions.
The dogs are the first-ever species that humans have domesticated, in addition, they have a long history of excellent relationships with people. That’s why we call them man’s best friend.
What Do Dogs See When They Look At Us?
If you had the chance to spend some time with dogs (By the way, I have two of my own), then you experience first-hand the different ways that dogs usually respond towards their owners.
There is a possibility that most dogs may treat us as a stranger with suspicious thoughts. After a while, they dance with joy when their owner returns home.
If one of our children has been long gone and returns after a while, you would definitely see the dogs respond with complete excitement.
It is not so difficult to provide complex interpretations of your pet’s behavior. However, what does your pet actually know? You might be surprised that It turns out there is a lot of ongoing work on dog cognition.
Do Dogs See Humans As Another Dog?
I’ll be honest, this one is hard to answer. These kinds of questions are quite confusing because dogs cannot tell you exactly what they know (unless you speak dog language). Instead, you have to search experimental procedures which will allow you to solve the mystery of what dogs see based on their usual behavior.
The visual features of dogs have evolved to function well especially in low light. This is basically one reason why our dogs have more limited color vision than us humans.
We have one interesting question, this is whether the dogs would associate what a familiar person looks like with what they usually sound like.
Several researchers made use of the voice of the dog’s owner. They also showed a photo of the owner and a picture of an unfamiliar man. The dogs looked quite longer at the picture than expected and were wondering if it was the photo of the owner or a not so familiar guy.
The Control conditions have also ruled out the opinion that dogs simply look longer than expected at unfamiliar people. By this result, it suggests that hearing a known voice to the dog is paired with an unknown face will violate the dog’s expectations.
This would result in the dog looking longer in this typical situation.
Where Do Dogs Usually Look?
Dogs are incredibly smart, and some don’t usually see that. Dogs usually pay attention closely to the eyes and face.
Another way to test what dogs specifically pay attention to is by using tasks that can be discriminating in which dogs can see photos of different pairs of faces on a screen. They are actually trained to press the touch screen in order to get a reward.
After that, they are only rewarded after touching the proper face. Now, if the dog can discriminate the different faces, the possibility is that it can learn to acquire the reward after each trial of the study.
Dogs mostly differ in their ability for this specific task overall, mostly learn to discriminate in between pictures of different pictures of faces.
They are at their best when they are able to see a whole face. Dogs, similarly to people are good at making use of information about how to configure the eyes, mouth and nose. Also, if dogs are only allowed to see the eyes, the nose, or the mouth, they will be at their best when it comes to learning how to discriminate between different faces when they are shown the eyes instead of the nose or mouth.
This observation highly suggests that dogs are actually paying the most attention to our eyes (I wish I have cute eyes). That makes sense, right? Of course, dogs are generally good at following the gaze of people, to look at what they are actually looking at.
Lastly, dogs seem to have the ability to recognize the exact differences between some human facial expressions for our emotions.
It actually turns out to be so difficult to study what do dogs learn about human facial expression, if you notice, this might be because there is plenty of information that dogs could be giving their attention to if you simply ask them to discriminate between photos of 1 person but expressing different emotions.
Here’s another one, people tend to show their teeth when they smile or if they’re happy, but not when they feel bad or angry. By this, if you just show the usual faces, it is indeed possible that dogs are paying close attention to the visibility of our teeth.
These studies were conducted but the goal was to just focus on the different visual abilities of our dogs.
This doesn’t give us anything tp tell about how dogs react to these expressions or what exact faces or expressions actually mean to dogs? Keep in mind that it does give us information regarding what they are able to see or visualize.
Dogs Can Easily Recognize Other Dogs By Simply Seeing Them
So our dogs don’t see us like dogs, but indeed as humans. Not only that they can identify other similar species by scent, you might be surprised that it turns out, dogs likely can recognize them using their sight despite the fact that there are hundreds of different dog breeds and each with its own unique characteristics.
Researchers at The University of Paris had the chance to test the ability of nine different dogs to visually differentiate the images of other dogs and images of other animals (this includes cats, birds, and many more) They were able to find out that all those nine dogs had the ability to separate the images of dogs from different animals.
You can see how smart the dog is just by sight alone.
So basically, when your dog looks at another dog, be it your friends, relatives or whoever. Even if it’s larger, smaller, or even looks totally different than they see another canine. If they look at you? It really doesn’t change.
Whatever breed your dog is, remember that it has good sight and smarter compared to other animals.