Study shows dogs recognize familiar faces in images

BY newsdesk  December 18, 2013 at 11:27 AM EDT


Photo by Flickr user dave.dave.dave

Going away for the holidays and leaving your dog with a pet sitter? You may want to leave some selfies with your four-legged friend.

A new study shows that dogs recognize familiar faces in images. Before you get too excited about your smart canine, though, the study also found that dogs paid more attention to images of other dogs, regardless of the familiarity.

A team of researchers at the University of Helsinki conducted the study. They measured dogs’ eye movements when the dogs were exposed to facial images of familiar humans and dogs, compared to their responses to facial images from dogs and humans the canines had never met. The dogs spent more time looking at familiar faces than strange ones, but did look at images of other dogs longer than images of humans, regardless of their familiarity with the faces in the images.

According to the researchers, the results suggest that dogs’ facial recognition skills may be similar to humans.

One more reason to FaceTime with your dog if you really miss them, because they really do love you.

H/T Bridget Shirvell