FunCan dogs be pessimistic?

Can dogs be pessimistic?

If your dog destroys furniture when you are away from home, it could be a case of canine pessimism, according to a British study. According to the authors, from the University of Bristol, some dogs are pessimistic by nature , while others have a more jovial temperament. "We know that people's emotional states affect their decisions and that happy people are more likely to judge an ambiguous situation positively," explained Professor Mike Mendl. "What our study has shown is that that applies to dogs in a similar way."

To measure canine psychology, the researchers trained dogs to recognize that the containers on one side of the room contained food, while those on the other side were empty. They were then placed in "neutral" locations between both sides. Just as happy people tend to see the positive side of any situation, optimistic dogs ran to the container, hoping to find food, while pessimists hesitated or moved more slowly.

The study, published in Current Biology and in which 24 dogs participated, determined that the temperament of the dogs corresponded to their behavior when they were separated from their owners . Dogs who "saw the container as half full" were calmer when left alone, confident that their owners would return, while pessimists were more likely to worry, bark or misbehave, fearing they had been abandoned .

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