A new study has found that dogs learn to read the body language of humans in much the same way that human infants do. The study, conducted in Hungary, showed that dogs behaved in a way that is “functionally similar to a 6-month-old, to a 1-year-old,” according to the lead researcher.
First, dogs watched a human who looked them in the eye while addressing them, then shifted their gaze. The dogs followed the human gaze. When the human didn’t look them in the eye while addressing them, the dogs didn’t follow the gaze. Previous studies in human babies have shown the same behavior. The researchers noted that this behavior was not found in other domesticated animals, like goats.
You can see the abstract from Current Biology here.