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I did a little rearranging in my bedroom. Ended up with a large vintage guilded mirror leaned against a wall on a storage bench.

Summer discovered it this morning and she's cracking me up! She saw herself. She stood with her front paws on the bench and saw all of herself. Then she saw the reflection of me sitting in the living room and flipped.:)

She's made about her 50th trip to "see me" I wave and she turns around and runs to me. But, all the sites I've looked at says that dogs don't recognize themselves in the mirror but will "use" information gained in the mirror such as the location of a person or food behind them. Very curious. It sure looked like Summer recognized herself - and she's thinking about it.... Do you think they can understand and are self aware when looking in a mirror? They sure see their owner.
 

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I'm not sure.My dogs all barked at their reflections the first few times,now ignore them at home.At the club Samson and I go to there are lots of mirrors and it freaked him out at first to see all of the people and dogs reflected.So he wasn't able to think to himself that they were mirrors just like at home as a human would.
 

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Our training club has mirrors at dog level. Several dogs try to play with themselves the first time they get free play in the training room. It's really cute but usually only lasts a few minutes before they figure out the other dog isn't really there.
 

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I think they do know it's there reflection depending on the dog

Regarding self awareness, this article discusses dogs being aware of there own scent leading the author to believe that a dog is self aware.

Dogs show signs of self-consciousness in new 'sniff test' - ScienceAlert

I think the olfactory abilities of dog is little understood by humans and how there brains really work regarding consciousness etc.
 

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Almost all of mine have seen themselves in a mirror. They all have either wagged their tails or what seriously looked like admired themselves. In class Midnite chose to face the mirror in a down position and just look at himself, the way he did it cracked the trainer up. Apollo did almost the same thing. Neither of them barked or growled thinking it was another dog.
 

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We have mirrors at the club we trained with and I only noticed a brief curiosity. I have noticed a time or two when another gsd comes into class my girls take notice more so than other breeds.
 

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Thanks for the link to the study Madlab. It almost sounds like if the olfactory isn't there the visual is dismissed as a false reading. Seems like dogs have little use for lies.:)
 

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Kali wasn't interested in mirror reflection. Brick showed curiosity but it seams he quickly understood that he looks at himself. One more thing that I noticed, when I look at him he looks at my face, then I turn to the mirror, he looks in the mirror to see my face :)
 

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I closed the bedroom door for an hour so she couldn't see the mirror. Just opened it 3 minutes ago and she's been in 6 times already just staring at me in the mirror.

Now, she just took her ball in and got up on the bench and looked at the ball in her mouth.... ah, such cheap thrills when winter boredom sets in. She's definitely using the information in the mirror though. But has no interest in herself.

I would have to say that they are not "self-aware".
 

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It really depends on the dog.

I've had dog reactive fosters flip out when they see the "other" dog in the mirror, growling and snarling (at the dog growling and snarling back). They can be taught it isn't real and seem to start to realize over time what's going on, once they start using their nose to smell the mirror. One of them would jump quickly through a doorway to the wall on the other side of the mirror, expecting to catch a dog there, and he was very confused as he went back and forth looking for that dog he kept seeing.

I've had one severely storm-phobic foster try to go through the mirror to the world beyond to "escape" in the midst of a panic attack. He apparently believed he could go "through the looking glass," like Alice. He did it every time he was afraid, as though it were a window to another world.

My dogs routinely use mirrors to watch me and understand how reflections work. At least one of them seems to have some self-awareness too.

I think they are very different in what they understand about about mirrors.
 

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When I was a kid we had a beagle mix that slept in my bedroom. I had a mirror set up on the floor that I used for doing my makeup in a corner area between my bed and the wall. She didn't usually go in that part of my room for whatever reason. But one morning I woke up to her sitting in front of the mirror staring at herself lifting one paw, staring, then lifting the other. Then she kept staring and finally let out a tiny very "woof", and tried it three times.
It was so cute, it made me laugh and that interrupted her lol. I caught her doing this on one other occasion, I think months later.

No idea what was actually going on in her head but i looked like she was trying to test if the dog in the mirror did everything she did
 

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Interesting stories from what you've personally witnessed.

I wonder if self awareness is just of little consequence to them. The mirror does not provide any reward or punishment, food or anything else. Maybe it is acknowledged but quickly discounted because it has nothing much to offer to a dog, so after the initial curiosity the dog is just Meh....

Very strange though that your dog with storm anxiety tried to escape through the mirror??? Could it just have been because it's glass like a window as a possible escape?
 

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Our training class has mirrors. When we were first started training in class -max is dog reactive and concerned about the dog behind us as we were going around the room at a heel. He saw his reflection -it was head on- and he barked but this was because he was tense. Next time around he was more relaxed and fully aware it was him in the mirror. You can see he was able to use his brain when he was more relaxed and recognized himself in the mirror and did not pay much attention to himself in the mirror.
 

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I believe what studies have shown is that they simply cannot make the connection. They are not realizing what it is (themselves) at all, let alone recognizing themselves and moving on. Dolphins, Monkeys and others of higher intelligence can but not dogs.

This, based on consistent studies through great lengths of time. I believe it. They are not self aware.

Mine started this mirror thing 10 hours ago. She just made her 50th or so visit to the mirror. Last time she just layed down in front of it at an angle so she could watch me out here in the living room. Absolutely no interest in the image of herself that was 2 feet in front of her.....
 

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Are there any german shepherds in that study? can tell you he definately knows that is him in the mirror he doesnt react at all when he see his himself in the mirror head on 1 foot away. sometimes i see him glance in the mirror whose behind us. I can also see him look in the mirror at me the reflection and the real me during down time at training he also looks at himself. She probably knows its herself in the mirror thats why she is not interested. There are studies out there that dogs are only excited to see their owners come home because dogs are concerned about their well being not because they miss their owners. I think the study was done by non dog owners based on their perception of the matter.
 

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Well, if you Google "are dogs self aware" you will get 99.9 percent that says they are not. However, the way it stands right now - one guy did a test with 4 dogs involving moving some urine snow chunks down a trail a bit that says they are BUT they need the primary sense for dogs (olfactory) to accompany the visual to make it "real" in their world. Monkeys, dolphins etc do not.

Funny how for 100 years or better, we can "know" one thing through tests and science and then here comes a guy digging up chunks of pee snow with 4 dogs that challenges the "well known fact"..:D
 

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I truly do not believe dogs are self aware. If I had any, even tiny, thought they were, I would no longer have one.
 

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:Yes there is always someone( person or animal)that will come about to prove how little we do know and challenges those well layed out believed facts:) I believe dogs are self aware i do believe they view things differently then us but are still aware on many different levels. Its not always black and white. If dogs could talk out loud i would have most likely pass on owning one but they cant talk so all my black clothes will always be covered in fur:D
 

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I truly do not believe dogs are self aware. If I had any, even tiny, thought they were, I would no longer have one.
Now just out of curiosity, why would you no longer have one? If they were in the same context as monkeys or dolphins?
 

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I truly do not believe dogs are self aware. If I had any, even tiny, thought they were, I would no longer have one.
Now just out of curiosity, why would you no longer have one? If they were in the same context as monkeys or dolphins?
Because if they were self aware, they would understand that they are being held captive. I don't believe that elephants, Dolphins, whales, and non human primates should be held in captivity. They get it. They understand.

I would not be a part of that.
 
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