Dear Dog Diary

You can learn a lot from a dog.

What Does A Dog See In The Mirror?

In human psychology circles, the ‘Rouge Test‘ is considered an important assessment tool for evaluating self-awareness in children.

Human toddlers start recognizing themselves in a mirror when they are around 18 months old. Passing the ‘Rouge Test’ is one sign that a child’s cognition is developing according to generally accepted benchmarks.

In the animal kingdom, however, only higher primates, dolphins, orcas, elephants, and European magpies recognize that what appears in a mirror is actually their reflection. And (not surprisingly), pigs don’t recognize themselves, but do use clues in mirrors to focus on food that is placed behind them.

So what about dogs? Dogs are usually startled by images in a mirror when they are young, and when the images don’t pass the ‘sniff test’ (which they never do!), dogs learn to just ignore them.

What Does A Dog See In The MirrorHere, Juno fell asleep looking at herself! Now just what does that say about her? Highly evolved or…diva?

Do your dogs try to “chase” what’s in the mirror, or do they leave it alone?



2 comments on “What Does A Dog See In The Mirror?

  1. Will and Eko
    March 28, 2013

    Like most dogs, Eko was spooked by mirrors as a puppy but now (with the occasional exception) pays them no mind. One interesting theory I read says the test favors species with good vision. Dogs aren’t interested in mirrors possibly because the reflections don’t pass the sniff test in the first place, so no further investigation is needed. Now if you put food behind Juno, I have a feeling she would know exactly what to do!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on March 28, 2013 by in Animal Behaviour, Animals, Dog Behaviour, Dogs and tagged , , , .

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Latest from Twitter

%d bloggers like this: