Many people believe that dogs distinguish bad people because of some special intuition or because of their keen sense of smell ... and various scientific studies confirm that this is not a far-fetched idea.
Maybe dogs can't understand good and evil, of course, but they seem to be able to tell if someone has bad intentions. In fact, according to National Geographic, it's not just that they can tell when they don't trust someone, but that they remember it and don't trust that person in the future.
As a result of research conducted by Akiko Takoaka, an animal cognition expert and researcher at the Department of Psychology at Rise University in Tokyo, he found that dogs recognize bad people and behave differently towards them.
In one such experiment, one person pointed the dogs to a bowl of food while another did the same with an empty bowl. In both cases, the dogs only discovered what was inside when they came to inspect it.
When the experiment was repeated, the dogs showed indifference or even anger at the person who deceived them. To those who told the truth, they behaved kindly.
Dogs of certain breeds were even able to tell when they were being tricked before approaching the bowl. This is an interesting finding because it shows that dogs can rely on their own judgment more than on a person if they suspect that the latter has bad intentions or is insincere.
Dogs can tell if someone is misbehaving towards their owner
Another study done by Takoaka showed that dogs also understand when someone is misbehaving towards their owner or family members. Dogs accompanied by their owners participated in this experiment. Several volunteers were asked to be polite to some of them and threatening and unfriendly to others.
The volunteers then offered food to the dogs. Those dogs that saw the stranger dislike their owners despite being offered food reacted with hostility.
The conclusions of these studies are clear: dogs do recognize bad people, but in addition, they can remember negative behavior (towards themselves or towards their mates) and act according to the situation.