Studies at the University of Sydney have determined that your dog, like you, may be either an optimist or a pessimist. Researchers drew this conclusion from a series of games involving rewards systems, tonal response, and treats of varying tastiness. Depending on the dogs’ responses to a particular stimulus, the researchers were able to gauge an individual pooch’s risk sensitivity.
In other words, a lack of reward for pawfectly performed tricks deterred some dogs from trying the trick in the future, while other dogs persisted in their trickery in hopes of receiving a yummy morsel. While this may sound mean, the tests provided an amazing amount of insight into the mind of a dog, and prove something dog parents have known for years: dogs are complicated.