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What does your pet get up to when the lights are off?

Tuesday, 12th February 2013

Overly-trusting pet owners may shocked to hear of a new study that has revealed the cunning and devious nature of dogs, who are in fact capable of being rather sneaky when the lights are off.

The research, which was funded by the Max Planck Society, involved 84 dogs, all of whom were forbidden by their owner to help themselves to dog food from the cupboard.

The results have been published in the journal Animal Cognition, and reveal that while most of the animals generally obeyed this rule when the lights were on, they were more than twice as likely to sneak food when the room was un-lit.

Lead researcher Dr Julianne Kaminski of the University of Portsmouth's psychology department says this behaviour "implies dogs understand the human can't see them [when the lights are off], meaning they might understand the human perspective."

Even though dogs tend to rely more on their sense of smell than their eyesight, this new development may suggest that they are aware that the same does not apply to their owners.