Why dogs and their owners are so alike

Dogs learn better when they imitate humans

source: New Scientist vol 207 no 2771, 31 July 2010 p116

Humans tend to copy other humans' behaviour, often unconsciously, for example, yawning when somebody else yawns. Dogs may also copy humans. A team from the University of Vienns, Austria, investigated dogs trained to open a sliding door. One group were trained to use their mouths, and the other to use their paws. The dogs found this task easier if their trainer opened the door using the method the dogs were taught. This result was first reported in Proceedings of the Royal Society, B, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.1142.