Dogs know themselves (as if we didn’t know that already). By their noses.

Science Daily reports on Barnard College and Tomsk State University researchers who have looked at dogs looking at (and sniffing) themselves and found that, yep, there’s evidence of consciousness there:

Dr. Alexandra Horowitz, the research’s leader, wrote in her report: “While domestic dogs, Canis familiaris, have been found to be skillful at social cognitive tasks and even some meta-cognitive tasks, they have not passed the test of mirror self-recognition (MSR).”

She borrowed the pioneering ethological approach, called the “Sniff test of self-recognition (STSR)” proposed by Prof. [Roberto] Cazzolla Gatti in 2016 to shed light on different ways of checking for self-recognition, and applied it to thirty-six domestic dogs accompanied by their owners.

This study confirmed the previous evidence proposed with the STSR by Dr. Cazzolla Gatti showing that “dogs distinguish between the olfactory ‘image’ of themselves when modified: investigating their own odour for longer when it had an additional odour accompanying it than when it did not. Such behaviour implies a recognition of the odour as being of or from ‘themselves’.”

“We would never expect that a mole or a bat can recognize themselves in a mirror, but now we have strong empirical evidences to suggest that if species other than primates are tested on chemical or auditory perception base we could get really unexpected results.”

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