But a dog can actually recognize factors that make up a person’s personality, according to a study published in the journal Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. Specifically, they can sense when a person is being “mean” to another person.

Hero Dogs Duke and the Velcro Dog

To find out if dogs can sense meanness, the scientists looked at typical reactions dogs have to different events.

“Dogs are known to consistently follow human pointing gestures. In this study, we asked whether dogs ‘automatically’ do this or whether they flexibly adjust their behavior depending upon the reliability of the pointer, demonstrated in an immediately preceding event.”

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