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Dogs Understand Same Cues as Children

When Fido and Fred Share the Spotlight

If I had a penny for every time my dad compared his Labrador to my children, I'd be a rich woman. To be fair, puppies and infants share many characteristics. They cry, pee and poop without a care and eat and whimper through the night. As children age, they continue to mimic their furry friends — crawling around and investigating, showing jealous tendencies, and following mama wherever she goes. Proud pet owners who liken their pups to humans can cite a new study when bragging on their furry family member. According to the research, dogs can understand the same pointing gestures as a 2-year-old child. The report says

Dogs possess a two-year-old child's capacity to understand human pointing gestures, with dogs requiring next to zero learning time to figure out the visual communication... The comparison with kids doesn't end there. Due to domestication, dogs appear to be predisposed to read other human visual signals, including head-turning and gazing.

My old man will be delighted to know his comparisons are legit, but his parallels will soon come to an end. The researcher said, "In human children between the age of two and three years, important changes take place that go beyond the capacities of dogs." Phew.

Image Source: Getty
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barbiexoxoxo5225 barbiexoxoxo5225 7 years
the dogs so cute he makes the baby look even cuter
runningesq runningesq 8 years
Relli, that's very interesting about how your animals reacted to your pregnancy. I bet with their very strong senses of smells the dogs/ cats were able to detect that something was going on. I'll be curious to see how my cats react to my preg when I get pregnant !
Relli80 Relli80 8 years
We got the dog after a year of living together only to find out two weeks later that we were pregnant. Now we have a lively household of two cats, a dog and a four month old, there is never a dull moment. Everyone has gone thru their jealousy issues of not being the baby anymore because each of the animals were added to the family one by one. At first the dog had a really hard time with the constant crying, and did act out by chewing up my favorite pair of suede loafers. But i knew it was for lack of attention because it was the first time he had done that to my stuff in the whole year we have had him. As the baby has gone older and is showing interest in the dog (i.e. watching him, trying to grab his tail, giggling when he is acting silly). The cats have been really good too, and have taken to following me and the baby around the house. The thing is that the animals sense change. They were all very interested in my tummy when i was pregnant, the cats laid on it and the dog licked it often. But we also created quiet space for the animals to go when they were over the baby. Just make sure you spread the love and attention and you will be fine.
lawyerjenn lawyerjenn 8 years
queenegg I think the key (I have a 4 year old chocolate lab and a 6 month old baby) is to continue to give the fur-baby love. They are confused and concerned about what is going on. If you are inpatient with them and annoyed by their needs (which you will be sometimes, it's inevitable), they sense this and can get upset. Your goal in getting the dog to love the baby and vice versa is just to shower your pup with love. Let them know that they are still special even though there's a new person in the house that requires a LOT more attention than them. Oh and exercise. Make your hubby/partner walk the dog as often as possible. They feel so much better and are much more gentle and behaved when they have gotten their exercise!
Moms Moms 8 years
We don't have any pets, but all of my kids' "cousins" on my side are currently dogs so we hear comparisons all the time. Funnily enough, they are also close in age.
Aphrosette Aphrosette 8 years
queenegg....I just went through this, I have 2 dogs and a 6 week older dog was just fine from the start, but he did have practice when we brought home the second dog....He's been very protective of the baby and sits right next to me when I'm nursing her and people are around....its very cute. My second younger dog took a few weeks to get used to the new baby....he never had a problem around her, but did things to get our attention that he had never done before. ie refusing to go outside if he wasn't on a leash (we have a fenced in yard) he also wouldn't walk on our grass to go to the bathroom he demanded going on an actual walk....we sent him on "vacation" for a weekend (my Aunt has his littermate) he was able to romp and play and not hear crying and get lets of attention came back competely normal and has stayed that way for a few weeks now. I'm sure your dogs will be fine you just need to give them time to adjust. I will suggest however that when you come home from the hospital/birthing center to make sure you leave the baby with your hubby in the car and great your dogs alone. Give them a few minutes to get used to you being back home (remember you'll have been gone for a few days too) then introduce them to the baby after they have gotten their excited enegy out on you. I'm not sure how the initial meeting would have gone otherwise!
runningesq runningesq 8 years
queenegg: I think my co worker had a book called: "and baby makes four ... adjusting your dog to your new baby" or something like that.
MissSushi MissSushi 8 years
We compare them both all the time.. lol. All of our dogs, ours and my mothers, 6 diff dogs in total, ended up very gentle, patient and protective of my daughter when she was born.
queenegg queenegg 8 years
I'm always complaring my dogs to children. My worry is, now that I'm pregnant, how are my dogs going to react to a baby stealing their attention?
psterling psterling 8 years
haha, I constantly compare my pup to a baby :-) Its hard NOT to see the parallels!
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
My favorite line from Scrubs is when Turk is afraid to have kids and Carla tells him "its like having a dog that slowly learns to talk". And now he's all for it because that sounds awesome, lol.
Lyngay Lyngay 8 years
Yeah, I always tell the dog owners, at least my kid will stop needing to be fed & groomed by me eventually. ;) Oh, and it's cite, not site. :)
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