According to a report in the New Scientist, dogs can tell when humans are being arseholes. And will react accordingly. Scientists made dog owners act out a little routine in front of their pets. The owners tried to open a jar and when they couldn’t they asked a couple of bystanders: One helped and the other refused. Afterwards both the bystanders gave the pet a treat. In most cases the dog looked at the jerk who refused to help and was like, “WTF” and snubbed them. The researchers found a similar pattern with capuchin monkeys, who also showed a bias against people who refused to offer assistance when asked. As well they should.
We can’t say we are surprised: We are all on arsehole-alert these days. Everyone is judging. There we sit, on our phones, quietly arbitrating. The obvious result is that we are either scared of being trolled or determined to tell it how it is. Neither is ideal in terms of personal development.
The world is aggressively falling into two camps: The truth hurts ‘deal with it’ side. Or the virtue-signalling ‘I’m most definitely not an arsehole at all even the slightest bit’ side. The former, well everyone has someone in their life/Facebook feed who is telling you that they are telling it like it is, “Sorry, but…” While the latter is Adele, gloriously humble at the Grammys trying to give away her award for best album to Beyonce.
Anyway back to the dogs. Because there’s a message here. There is nowhere to hide. Not even the animals are offering unconditional love anymore. Which might be a good thing. Or a bad thing. Depending on how much of an arsehole you are.