Animal IQ

Dogs Are Able to Trick Us In Order To Get What They Want

Dogs seem so serendipitously irresistible. Turns out, our furry friends know exactly which buttons to push in order to get what they want—even if they have to deceive you to get it. Man's best friend, huh? Maybe that's only what they want you to think...

Related: There's No Such Thing As An Alpha Dog, So Stop Training Your Pooch That Way

Why are we covering this?

  • Any insight into the brain of a dog is valuable info for dog owners
  • It may be surprising to learn that man's best friend isn't so blindly loyal after all

I'm Not That Innocent

Your furry loyal companion may be pulling your leg. According to a study published in Animal Cognition in March 2017, dogs are capable of deception, and may use it to get what they want. Deception was described in this study as "the use of false signals to modify the behaviour of the receiver." Who's the loyal companion now?

Related: Your Dog Might Look Guilty, But It's Feeling Afraid

In the study conducted by University of Zurich researchers, two people interacted with the dogs. One person was cooperative and always gave the dogs food, and the other person was competitive and always kept the food to themselves. The dog then had to lead the humans to one of three boxes—one contained a juicy sausage, one a dry doggie treat, and one that has completely empty. The researchers observed that the dogs led the cooperative person to the sausage box and led the competitive person to the empty box more often than would be expected by chance. When pup wants a sausage, pup is going to get that sausage.

Related: Your Puppy Really Does Love Baby Talk

Demystifying The Dog

It goes without saying that humans can not (yet?) speak fluent dog. But that's the say we haven't learned a lot of fascinating and oftentime surprising things about why they are the way they are. For instance, using baby talk to communicate with your pet is a real thing, not just a borderline-annoying habit. But it seems it only works on puppies, not older dogs. And you probably think that adorable guilty face is your pooch telling you he's sorry. Not the cause—we now know that face means he's scared. Don't worry, you can calm him back down with a little reggae music.

Is there something you're curious about? Send us a note or email us at editors (at) And follow Curiosity on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Watch And Learn: Our Favorite Content About Understanding Dogs

5 Interesting Things Dogs Can Sense

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Cancer cells produce waste products that give off a noticeable odor for dogs. 01:21

  2. Dogs seem to be able to sense when someone's blood-sugar levels are low or about to drop dangerously. 03:11

  3. When afraid, humans sweat, produce adrenaline, and emit pheromones, all of which dogs are able to detect. 05:35

Written by Curiosity Staff March 18, 2017

Curiosity uses cookies to improve site performance, for analytics and for advertising. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies, our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.