Fetch! First clear evidence that dogs do not naturally distinguish objects by shape

Researchers have provided the first empirical evidence that the way in which dogs relate words to objects is fundamentally different to humans. Many pet owners marvel at their dog’s ability to fetch different objects such as toys on instruction, perceiving this as evidence that the dog ‘understands’ these words in a similar way to us. Psychologists and animal behavior specialists have shown however, through a series of unique behavioral experiments that the mental lexicon of domestic dogs is constructed in a substantially different manner to our own.

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