Do dogs understand English? And do they experience negative feelings at the suggestion that a treat may be from a person whom they hate and fear? This video suggests that the answer to both questions is a resounding “yes”!
A cute pup is sitting beside his owner, quietly accepting treats that the owner insists come from people he loves. “This one is from Mommy!” the owner states, and holds out a snack: the pup gobbles the treat. “This one’s from Grandpa!” says the owner, and the pup again accepts his treat with glee.
“This one’s from … the Dogcatcher!” states the owner, holding the treat under the pup’s nose. But this time the pup turns his head aside, refuses to respond, and even looks up at his owner with a “you’ve got to be kidding!” glance. Without withdrawing his hand, the owner changes his line and states, “This one’s from Uncle Troy!” Would you believe it? The pup happily accepts the treat, now that the name of his nemesis has been detached from it….he even comes close to licking his lips!
Now the owner repeats the experiment with another snack, but when the pup hears “the Dogcatcher,” he turns his head aside with a baleful expression. “Don’t you like the Dogcatcher?” asks his owner. The look in the pup’s eyes when he glances up says it all. But when the owner restates the treat’s provenance, and claims that it’s from Grandpa, guess what! The pup snaps it up happily.