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How do dogs learn from other dogs as well as their owners?

The new canine science is gradually exposing the dog’s unique mind. In some ways they are smarter even than chimpanzees: for example, dogs are much more attentive to human gestures. In other ways they can seem to us to be rather limited, as in their understanding of the physical world. But they are very social creatures and very sensitive to the body language of other dogs and people, probably more so than we are ourselves. They also learn a lot from odors that we can’t detect; this is thought to be the way that specially trained dogs warn their owners of imminent epileptic or diabetic crises. They can learn by spontaneously imitating others’ actions, especially other dogs’, but we have no evidence yet that dogs actively teach one another.

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