Auf den Hund gekommen

GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA – In den Vereinigten Staaten leben etwa 70 Millionen Hunde mit ihren Besitzern unter einem Dach. Das sind 10 Millionen mehr Hunde als Kinder unter 15 Jahren. In anderen westlichen Ländern sind die Verhältnisse ähnlich. Ungefähr 40 Prozent der Haushunde dürfen im Bett ihrer Besitzer schlafen.

Wie schafften es Hunde, ein derartig inniges Verhältnis zu uns Menschen aufzubauen?  Eine Theorie besagt, dass sich Hunde in den tausenden Jahren ihres gemeinsamen Lebens mit dem Menschen an menschliche Denkweisen angepasst haben. Gewiss verfügen Hunde über ein erstaunliches Gespür für menschliches Verhalten.

Hunde sind in der Lage, Zeigegesten des Menschen zu folgen, um verstecktes Futter zu finden und sie selbst können ihren Besitzern durch gewisse Bewegungen anzeigen, wo sich ein verstecktes Spielzeug befindet. Unter gewissen Umständen verstehen Hunde, dass ein Mensch, der sie nicht sehen kann (weil er beispielsweise die Augen verbunden hat) weniger auf ihr Betteln um einen Leckerbissen reagiert, als eine Person, deren Sicht nicht eingeschränkt ist. Außerdem befolgen Hunde den Befehl, etwas nicht anzurühren, eher, wenn ihr Herrchen oder Frauchen im Raum bleibt als wenn sie hinausgehen.  

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