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Old 11-07-2012, 09:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Are Dogs Capable Of Recognizing our Facial Expression?

If you came across your dog doing something it ''knows'' it shouldn't be doing yet you gave a very happy welcome with a cheery voice, do you think it would still get the ''guilty'' look on its face and with its body language?
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If you came across your dog doing something it ''knows'' it shouldn't be doing yet you gave a very happy welcome with a cheery voice, do you think it would still get the ''guilty'' look on its face and with its body language?
Yes, but it's because they've done something they knew they weren't supposed to do. I had this happen after my parrot told my bitch to pee on the floor. I wasn't mad at her at all, but she reacted like I was going to kill her. I also got very good at giving a 'look' to my male when I was fed up with his stunts, and that's all it took to make him quit. They can read facial expressions, but if their own guilt is that high, they may not believe what they're seeing.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I know Schatzi and Ellie will act guilty if they've done something naughty. I often never catch them in the act, and don't even realize they've done something wrong until I see those "guilty faces". One time Schatzi put herself in her timeout spot after shredding a pillow.

As for them recognizing our facial expressions, I recently watched a Nat Geo program where they were studying just that. They found that dogs DO recognize our facial expressions and even our body language. An example in the show was when we point, dogs will often look to where we point. Very interesting stuff.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Dogs read humans alot more than many other animals read us. I also recently watched a documentary when dogs and other primates were compared. Not only can dogs understand pointing, they also track our pupil movement to better understand and communicate with humans. For example, even very young puppies can follow our pupils and choose the cup that we look at. Not even other primates do this as well as dogs!

So if they track our pupil movement and know what it means when we LOOK at something, I imagine they can also track our lip movement and know what it means when we curl our lips into smiles or grimaces. These are obviously alot harder to study than pupil movement since they don't always translate to tangible results.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i think a dog can recognize some of our body language
but i also think a dog recongnizing our body language
comes along with our training. as we train we use
a certain body language (movement), facial expression, etc.
to do certain things and we probably do it over and over
so the dog recognizes a certain movement
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Koda acts guilty if she does naughty as well

I agree with Taylor that they DO in fact recognize our facial expressions. I can give Koda a usual, cheery voice but if I look angry she won't come. If I look sad, she curls up to me and gives me love. If I look nervous she looks for what is bugging me. Same goes for any voice/facial expression combo. She watches my face more than she listens to my tone.
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Don't forget we also throw out pheromones that dogs pick up....so if we are angry, afraid or sad our scent may tell the dog what we are feeling before our body language or facial expression is even observed.
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doggiedad View Post
i think a dog can recognize some of our body language
but i also think a dog recongnizing our body language
comes along with our training. as we train we use
a certain body language (movement), facial expression, etc.
to do certain things and we probably do it over and over
so the dog recognizes a certain movement
I agree with you that alot of it does come with body language that the dog picks up during as they live with us. However, the documentary I saw (and you can watch the full version on a youtube channel in a completely legit way) says that alot of these are products of evolution. VERY young puppies track pupil movement in humans. That's obviously not trained.
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Mine do,even if my annoyance has nothing to do with them.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:58 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Dogs recognize MUCH more than facial expressions. When I train with Kyleigh, I don't talk to her AT ALL except for the ONE or TWO words I want her to pair with what I want. I use my body language, facial expressions for her to "get it." (Now when she "gets it" I use TONS of praise, words, etc so she knows she's 'got it')

She knows that when she's on her dog bed in a stay and if she goes to get up, she'll look at me and I'll raise my eyebrows as in REALLY? and she lays back down.

If I'm doing something and she barks at me for attention, I turn, look at her sternly, cross my arms and she goes and lays down and wait until I'm done.

I didn't teach Kyleigh "watch me", or anything like that, I simply expect her to be watching me all the time ... and she does! This to me, is being a confident leader ... letting my dog know that I will lead her ... and all she has to do is watch, and she'll know what to do!
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