Acercarnos a los perros

GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA – Hay cerca de 70 millones de perros viviendo en hogares humanos en los Estados Unidos, lo que es 10 millones más que niños menores de 15 años. El patrón en otras naciones occidentales es similar. A cerca de un 40% de los perros domésticos se les permite dormir en las camas de sus dueños.

¿Cómo lograron un lugar tan íntimo en nuestras vidas? Una teoría es que, en los miles de años que los perros han vivido con los seres humanos, han terminado por sintonizar con sus modos de pensar. Ciertamente, los perros tienen una notable sensibilidad al comportamiento humano.

Los perros pueden seguir los gestos que los hombres les hacen apuntando a un lugar para encontrar comida oculta, y pueden indicar a sus dueños dónde está escondido un juguete. En ciertas circunstancias, los perros entienden que es menos probable que un ser humano que no los puede ver (porque, por ejemplo, tiene los ojos vendados) responda a sus movimientos para pedir un bocado apetitoso que una persona cuya visión no está impedida. También es más probable que un perro obedezca a una orden de dejar de lado algo deseable si su dueño se queda en la sala a que si sale de ella.

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