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Who is that doggy in the mirror?
When your dog wanders up to a mirror, you may expect gazing, barking or at least a little curiosity. But what usually happens is nothing, much to the disappointment of many owners. While you may want to show your dog how adorable it is in the mirror, most research has shown that dogs don't really understand mirrors and their reaction to them is generally indifferent. Dogs are simply not as self-involved as humans, an endearing quality that makes us love them even more.
Research has shown that while dogs see in two dimensions, their visual acuity is less sharp than that of humans. That means that when it sees two-dimensional images – whether on a TV screen, in a picture or on a mirror – it may only be able to make out the general shape and shade of the object.
The news source reports that a dog's sense of consciousness is very different from that of humans. The self-awareness that allows us to recognize our own images in photographs and mirrors is one of the many complex parts of our consciousness. We have the ability to view our own bodies as objects, while canines do not.
Dogs are also uninterested in self-identification, researchers found. Dogs' sense of selflessness is something that many dog lovers particularly enjoy about their four-legged friends, but researchers have proven that it goes beyond your dog's loyal, loving personality. Researcher Marc Beckoff conducted a study to test his dog's interest in self-identification by seeing whether it was more interested in sniffing its own urine-marked snow or that of other dogs, the news source reports. Overwhelmingly, the dog preferred to smell snow with others' markings, suggesting that it recognized its own scent and simply was not interested.
Though they don't have much self-awareness, dogs do have a sense of possession – yet another quality we love about them. They are able to recognize that toys such as the Pink Pig or Boode Tail-Spin Flyer are theirs, and can recognize which pet supplies belong to them. For instance, they will know that The Super Dog Crate with Cozy Bed is theirs once it has been given to them, and know that the Deluxe Orthopedic Bed is for them to sleep on. They also recognize that you are a member of their pack, one of the many things that makes dog man's best friend.