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Dogs Can Also Recognize Familiar Faces From Images

Update Date: Dec 19, 2013 09:04 AM EST

So far, it is only we human that have been gifted by such an accurate and quick recognition mechanism but a recent study have hinted that dogs too can possess the similar ability.

It is well known fact that the faces and eye contact play an important role in the communication between dogs and humans. In first of its kind, a study has investigated dogs’ eye movement tracking which might be linked to facial recognition ability in dogs.

Researchers tested dogs’s spontaneous behavior that they showed after showing the images.

“Dogs were trained to lie still during the image presentation and to perform the task independently. Dogs seemed to experience the task rewarding, because they were very eager to participate” said the lead author Professor Outi Vainio of the University of Helsinki, in a press release.

Eye movements of dogs were measured when they watched facial images of familiar humans like dog’s owner or another dog from the same family. The dogs were also shown facial images from dogs and humans that the dogs have never met.

The results obtained, indicated that dogs were able to perceive faces in the images shown to them. Dogs looked at previously-encountered dogs longer than images of familiar humans.

The also looked at more often to familiar faces and eyes compared to stranger ones.

The article is published in the journal Animal Cognition. 

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