Some people seem to be able to understand a dog’s facial expressions better than other people. Of course we know that you need to be able to read the dog’s whole-body language to fully understand how a dog feels and what they are thinking. But why are some people better at it than others?
In a recent study by Federica Amici of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and Juliane Bräuer of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History has discovered that all humans can identify anger and happiness, but those who grew up in a dog friendly environment were able to identify other emotions much better. It seems that age and experience make a difference in a person’s ability to interpret canine feelings. It would be interesting to see how this applies to other animals.