Science Confirms that Dogs can Recognize a Bad Person

Dogs are said to be a man’s best friend, and according to new research, this might just be right.
A new study has shown that dogs can feel if a person is untrustworthy, with bad intentions and they won’t act all cuddly around them. It is already a known fact that dogs are very intelligent and can learn lots of commands and communicate with their owners, but this new study by the Kyoto University of Japan went even beyond that.
The experiments were conducted by Akiko Takaoka and his team and they tested if dogs could trust someone who is lying. The experiment was comprised of several test groups, so the result would be highly accurate, and it had 34 dogs as participants.

In the first round of the experiment, the team pointed to a container with dog food. The dogs ran there and expected a reward.
In the second part, the dogs would run to an empty container to which the research team pointed. In this case, there was no reward waiting for them.
In the final part, the team would again point to the full container, but the dog would not respond as it got misleading information in the previous round.

Dogs usually trust their owners (Credit: Victoria Standen)

The conclusion was that the dogs did not respond to in the end, because they spotted the lie. All the 34 dogs taking part in the experiment displayed the same behavior.
The next step of Takaoka’s experiment will be to test this theory on wolves too, as they have common ancestors with dogs and it would be interesting to find that there is a common pattern of behavior too.
Several other experiments have shown that dogs can indeed spot a bad person as they refused treats from someone rude to their owner.
So, in case you have doubts about someone close to you, maybe it would be a great idea to spend some time with them and your dog, to observe its reactions towards that person.

45 Responses to “Science Confirms that Dogs can Recognize a Bad Person”

  1. Joseph says:

    Would be nice if their experiments would include incidences of first meetings with no treats or other offerings, just a chance encounter. Our dog can immediately to take someone or growl. What does this insinuate.

    • Lucas says:

      *Imply. It’s an implication, because insinuations are verbal, and we have to assume that your dog can’t talk, your mentioning of them growling implies that they can’t.

      • Drew says:

        Yeah, not so much.

        in·sin·u·ate
        /inˈsinyo͞oˌāt/
        Learn to pronounce
        verb
        verb: insinuate; 3rd person present: insinuates; past tense: insinuated; past participle: insinuated; gerund or present participle: insinuating

        1.
        suggest or hint (something bad or reprehensible) in an indirect and unpleasant way.
        “he was insinuating that I had no self-control”
        h
        Similar:
        imply

        suggest
        hint
        intimate
        whisper
        indicate
        convey the impression
        give a clue
        give an inkling
        allude to the fact
        make reference to the fact
        let it be known
        give someone to understand
        give someone to believe
        make out
        tip someone the wink
        2.
        slide (oneself or a thing) slowly and smoothly into a position.
        “the bugs insinuate themselves between one’s skin and clothes”

  2. Susan Kennedy says:

    This explains why trump doesnt have a dog…..

  3. Adrienne Amatulli says:

    I have raised wolf hybrid for 35 years so the answers is yes they know when someone is lying!

  4. Timi Daley says:

    It never showed the video

  5. Kevin Thwaits says:

    All dogs know the difference between good and bad people.
    My dog shakes and barks really low but doesn’t really growl at all.

  6. James Chastain says:

    I do trust a dogs opinion about good and not so good people. But this test feels on first reading very poorly designed.

    • Juanita McSpadden says:

      I agree, bad test. It probably just means the dogs know the food container is empty. Not that the person is lying.
      My male German shepherd bit one bad person that walked near his puppies while the mom was feeding them. She walked into my yard and I saw the shepherd circle behind her and bit her on the butt cheek barely breaking the skin surface. He didn’t bark or anything, just laid his ears back. I hated it but he was protecting his family. I made sure that she got medical care, dogs were up to date on shots. Surprised she didn’t sue. I know that she is a liar and thief. Some how the dog knew.

      • liz wentworth says:

        Dogs are much better readers of body language/intent than humans are… and therefore better able to “see” the lie than humans.

  7. Kody Smith says:

    This is a great article and so true! We have 3 boxers and I trust them completely when it comes to the reactions they have to strangers.

  8. Don Bates says:

    This is a bogus study, therefore the conclusions are silly. Another attempt to anthropomorphize animals.Dogs only know what they’re conditioned to know. They understand rewards and punishment, not good and bad people. They learn what their owners show and tell them. End stop.

    • Lisa Harris says:

      Do you feel this way because dogs don’t like you?

    • Rita says:

      I disagree. I do believe animals can recognize a “good person” from a “bad person”. I’ve worked with many species including tigers, apes, monkeys, avian, wolfdogs, cats AND, yes, dogs. All seem to be able to recognize someone that has bad intentions. I think it’s more the way someone portrays themselves (body language, facial expressions, movement, tone of voice, etc.) and the pheromones people excrete when approaching the animal. We always forget our scents. They can all sense danger with other animals, so why not danger from a human? This is a silly experiment, I admit. The experiment only shows intelligence and learned behavior, nothing else.

    • Rex says:

      i bet dogs dont like you

  9. Luis says:

    When I first introduce my puppy Chewbacca to my family it was weird at first but I kind of make sense at the end when he wouldn’t stop barking at two of my siblings which acted nice to me in front of my puppy but have been backstabbing me for a while.

  10. Jo says:

    The researcher is a woman, Akiko Takaoka, please correct.

  11. Jo says:

    It’s not a bogus study, this article is poorly written, starting from refering to the researcher bas him, it’s a woman. Akiko Takaoka.

  12. Mandy humphrey says:

    Not true. My aussie would growl or backup if she did not trust someone. 2x and the person proved to be a threat.

  13. Rachel says:

    Leave it to a Democrat to make a post about politics on an article about dogs behavior. You people are sick bastards.

    Dogs are much smarter and better “humans” than him she’s themselves. A couple of these replies to this article make me realize how much I love animals! BTW…I have never met a dog or cat that didn’t love me.

  14. Sonal says:

    Or in Trumps case would bite him and the dog would die instead! Remember that poem about a Rich man ..who was liked by all, astray bit him and died instead of him.. 😆

  15. Dorothee says:

    My little dog is very friendly in general,but she sometimes growls at people and I trust her to have a reason.

  16. Radar says:

    Absolutely true. My brother is an axe murderer and our poodle hates him.

  17. Edith Roper says:

    Re the dog tests I could quote you many animals raised by perverts or batterers some stolen from the others they abused and yet the animal will listen to direction. However I would show up and if I was in danger ( due to abuse and attemps at sexually trafficking me) the dogs would defy thier abusive owners. To lay on top of me on the floor or in a chair all without knowing me first and without direction. Some of the animals knew they would be abused by thier owners for it if I left them alone still they protectected me my entire life. I am 49 time to come up with some grants to give back & rescue them .

  18. Ronica says:

    I believe your mistaken. My dog went after a mouse and when it went under the counter, my dog went around to the otherside, knowing it couldn’t go through , but also knowing the mouse was between the cabinet and the wall, and she kept going back and forth, she finnally got it when it came out.i think that’s thinking deducting and coming to a conclusion.

  19. Dorothy says:

    Sorry, but you are wrong. My dog knows who is o.k and who is not, even when I dont know the person.
    My dog has never been wrong.
    You definately do not understand them!
    You need to really know your dog.

  20. atari800 says:

    My Bush Clinton Bush Obama Trump gene has expired….. I can only ask SERIOUSLY?

  21. Ann S. says:

    Dogs pick up on cues from their owners, or from anger (adrenaline) they smell in someone’s system. Sometimes a good person can be thought of as a bad person by a dog simply because of a ton3 of voice from their person. They are not always right.

  22. Nif The Squirrel says:

    Bad and good are two really fluctating notions, usually originated from humain religious main mentallities, and on top of it biology doesn’t react in terms of bad or good, just watch it trying not to stuck your anthropomorphic thoughs on it, this is pur and dangerous shit.

    A dog can feel stress: somebody in situation of lying is often stressed, and can appear as a treath to the dog whose abilities to smell stress are a thousand times higher than ours. End of it. This type of article is deep shit because of dangerouse shorcuts.

    Who can define who is ok and who is not, whitout context, and with a fixed definition and standard of good and evil? Dumb mentallity.

  23. Jeff says:

    You’ve got Trump Derangement Syndrome

  24. Jack W says:

    What about a dog that is aggressive with everyone at first then love them after 30 minutes?

  25. Claire says:

    My dog loved everybody and one day a parent came to puck up there child from my house and she wouldnt let them out of the car. He didnt do anything as i watched him arrive, dhe never did it again. Didnt see him again. I often wonder why she did that

  26. Alexandra Villapiano says:

    My last dog seemed to real dislike older women who were sort of needy and overly doting. These were not bad people, just sort of annoying…

  27. Cheryl F. says:

    This so true. I have had Dogs all my life. And if my dog didn’t trust neither did I.
    Had one dog guess could save my life. Out walking and a man approached. The dog instantly stepped in front of me sit and sound a low pitched grubble. He would not let person near me. If they moved he would shift. We went about or way. Few days later a lady was raped while walking her small dog by the man.
    That is just one of many things I have witnessed in my dogs behaviors. Trust your dog and your gut!

  28. Gail Bradford says:

    Our dog knows good versus bad…he also can be shown that he needs to back off when a person is not sure about a greeting from a stranger

  29. Trisha says:

    That gets so irritating. You’d think people would drop it by now.

  30. D says:

    Such a moronic comment ..

  31. anonymouscowarrd says:

    i thought trumpsters didn’t beloeve in science.

  32. Kim says:

    Not to mention the fact that dogs have near-supernatural powers of scent and knew the containers were empty because they didn’t smell anything worth investigating.

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