BY BROOKLYN PINHEIRO
After a long day of spreading negativity through the world you walk into your apartment eager for your pooch’s unconditional love that you don’t get from anyone else because you suck. Surprise, your dog isn’t down to cover your negative vibe with sloppy kisses because he recognizes that you’re a meanie and doesn’t want your bad energy in his life. Turns out not even your retriever can ignore your disregard for others’ feelings.
A study at Kyoto University determined that your furry friend can tell when you’re being a jerk to other people and when given the option will choose the person you’re being mean to over you. The study had dogs watch their owners being rude and nice in different experiments. These experiments included denying help to someone and refusing to share. The participants then offered the pet a treat and researchers found when their owners were being rude the dog was more likely to accept the treat from the other actor.
After thousands of years of domestication dogs have developed a pretty good understanding of our species and with the percentage of shitty people that have existed in history they’ve been able to figure out what bad behaviour looks like. The shunning that dogs display is a show of keeping distance from non-cooperative tendencies which make for a bad pack member.
The behaviour was shared with monkeys as well, in case you’re thinking of getting an exotic pet that won’t care as much that you’re rude. The reactions of these animals shed light on how humans gained their moral compass. By excluding antisocial people from a group because they wouldn’t benefit anyone humans eventually evolved into making moral guidelines for people to follow and judge each other on. Turns out that the same behaviour that will have you sitting alone at lunch will make your dog like you less as well.
So even if you don’t give a damn about what other people think of you, be kind, because your pet wants to love you and it can’t when you’re being a jerk.