Study Shows Dogs Can Hold Grudges Toward People Who Mistreat Their Owner

Posted by Stacey Venzel
Man with his dog outdoors

You better be nice to Fido's owner or he might not snuggle up to you.

Researchers at Kyoto University have unveiled further findings into the psyche of canines. Dogs are already shown to release the love hormone in humans just by staring, and we recently learned that dogs know what humans are saying.

In this study, dogs saw their owner struggling to open a container. The owners asked for help to passersby and were sometimes denied help while other times they were given assistance.


When the dogs were offered treats from people who refused to lend a hand to the struggling owner, the pups most often did not take them. But dogs gobbled up treats from people who had helped out the owner.

Scientists believe this suggests dogs have higher complexities of their emotional intelligence than previously thought, including being able to hold grudges.

A follow-up study has been proposed to see if these grudges extend to circumstances involving two strangers, not just with the owner.

Are you going to be nicer to your friends in front of their dogs? Let us know in the comments below!

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