Kit Steinkellner
June 13, 2015 9:03 am

Dogs really ARE our besties. They’re the greatest at cuddling and cracking us up, and, as it turns out, our pups will totally come to our defense if they see someone dissing us.

As The Daily Mail reports, research was conducted in Japan with a group of dogs and their owners. Each owner was given a box that they were instructed to open. Two strangers (people the dog had never met) were stationed nearby. The dogs and owners were divided into three groups. In the first group, the two strangers helped the dog owner open the box when asked for assistance. In the second group, the strangers refused to help with the box-opening. In the third group, the strangers were neutral, they neither helped nor refused to help, they basically just stood there being indifferent.

After watching the box-opening (or not opening) scene take place, each dog was offered food by the strangers. This is where things get interesting. If the strangers helped their owners or were indifferent, the dogs were much more likely to accept food from the strangers, HOWEVER if the dogs had seen these strangers refuse to help their owners, they were much more likely to refuse food from their strangers.

Anyone who has ever known and loved a dog knows that it’s a BIG deal for a dog to refuse food. That said, they don’t call dogs loyal for nothing, and apparently there are a lot of dogs out there who will forego a treat if it means getting the chance to stick up for their people.

Professor Kazuo Fujita, a professor of comparative cognition at Kyoto University, and the researcher who led this study, was thrilled by the results.

“We discovered for the first time that dogs make social and emotional evaluations of people regardless of their direct interest,” Fujita explained.”This ability is one of key factors in building a highly collaborative society and this study shows that dogs share that ability with humans.”

The fact that our food-obsessed dogs probably aren’t going to take a treat from the mean girls and rude dudes of our lives completely warms our hearts. Our sacred dog-human bestie-ship trumps a treat any day of the week. Thanks science, for proving what we already knew in our hearts. Dogs totally are a girl’s BFF.

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