Your Dog Can Actually Sniff Out The Toxic People In Your Life, According To Research

Dog really is man's best friend.

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Dogs are our best friends. In fact, the benefits of owning a dog are endless. They are loyal, are known to reduce loneliness, keep us physically active, encourage us to be more social, and, overall, just make us happier!

But, as it turns out, dogs are also excellent at determining which people should and shouldn't be in our lives. And there's science to back it up.

According to research, dogs are able to tell when people are toxic.

So, if you're the parent of a dog, you may want to watch them around new people. Because if you bring around a close, trusted friend, you may not like what your dog thinks about the matter.


dogs can sniff out toxic people in your lifePhoto: RDNE Stock project / Pexels

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Yes, it's true. Your beloved pet may help you identify toxic people — at least according to a study out of Japan, which further reinforces findings of previous studies on dogs and emotional intelligence.


Scientists at Kyoto University experimented with 54 dogs, which were split into three groups of 18. Researchers had the dogs interact with their masters and others in a role-play situation. The dog owners couldn't open a box and had to ask help from a stranger in the room.

In the first group, the stranger refused to help. In the second group, the stranger offered help. In the third group, the stranger behaved in a neutral way. After witnessing this, the dogs were more likely to accept a treat from a neutral observer than the person who refused to help their owner.

In simpler terms, the dogs could tell who had been cruel or unkind to their human parent, and acted mistrustful as a result.



The dogs in the other two groups, where people were helpful or neutral, had no issue taking treats from the strangers. But, as the study found, they did not accept treats from the individuals who refused to help their owners.


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The study determined the following: "The present results clearly show that after witnessing an actor behaving non-cooperatively towards their owners, dogs avoided that actor, despite no explicit reason to do so in terms of likelihood of obtaining food. In contrast, dogs showed no clear preference for an actor who cooperated by helping their owners."

Scientists believe this proves that dogs can make emotional evaluations of people and apply it socially.

"We discovered for the first time that dogs make social and emotional evaluations of people regardless of their direct interest. This ability is one of key factors in building a highly collaborative society, and this study shows that dogs share that ability with humans," said Kazuo Fujita, lead researcher of the study, and a professor of comparative cognition at Kyoto University.

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It's not the first time this finding has been made. Another study out of the UK presented 250 dogs with whistle stimuli, while their owners stood behind them. Researchers called the dogs' names individually, then presented a 65 decibel sound. The findings determined that dogs perceive speech similarly to humans.

dogs can sniff out toxic people in your lifePhoto: Nataliya Vaitkevich / Pexels

In a study from the University of California San Diego, researchers sought to determine if dogs were as jealous as their human counterparts.


According to the study, "We found that dogs exhibited significantly more jealous behaviors (e.g., snapping, getting between the owner and object, pushing, touching the object/owner) when their owners displayed affectionate behaviors towards what appeared to be another dog."

Aside from being able to sniff out toxic people, dogs can understand what humans say and experience jealousy as well! And that's just further proof that dogs are the best friends men and women can have.

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