We already suspected some cats, but perhaps we didn't expect dogs: even a man's best friend is able to plan behavioral tactics to deceive his fellow men and bipeds, and to make good rewards. This is demonstrated by a study published in the scientific journal Animal Cognition.

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Look there for a moment … Marianne Heberlein, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Zurich, had signs of this ability when she saw one of her two dogs distracting the other, pretending there was something interesting in the garden, to steal her kennel.

The test. So he wanted to test whether these "manipulative" qualities also apply to humans. He paired some dogs with his master, always willing to reward them with goodies, and two strangers: a generous one ready to give snacks, and a competitive one, trained to show them food and then keep it.

The dogs were then trained to lead humans to a series of boxes, one containing a tasty sausage, one with a less palatable dry biscuit and an empty third. They knew that at the end of the test, their master would give them the leftover food.

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This way! Dogs have learned very quickly not to drive the "selfish" and competitive human towards the sausage bowl. In most cases, they took him to the empty box, making sure he had a chance to get the master's favorite food. In practice, the animals realized that the only way to make sure they had the sausage was to deceive the "unpleasant" volunteer.

Previous studies had shown that dogs do not accept food from humans who do not help their master, preferring instead to receive it from a stranger. A capacity observed so far only in children and in Capuchin monkeys.