The Daily Mail reports:
In humans the ‘eureka moment’ is a commonly known feeling that occurs when we solve a particularly troubling problem.
But new research suggests that we’re not the only animals to experience this – dogs, too, gain pleasure from solving a tricky task.
In a series of experiments, scientists found dogs were happier when they earned a reward by performing a task, rather than just being handed a treat.
Those dogs won’t be Labour voters then!
The experimental dogs were only given access to the treat on the ramp when they successfully manipulated the three pieces of equipment they had been trained to use.
The control dogs, meanwhile, were given access to the reward when the puzzles were solved by their partner in the other arena, irrespective of how they used the equipment.
The dogs in the pairs were then tasked with performing the same run several times, and also played both roles of experimental and control dog.
The researchers found the experimental dogs were much more excited to actually get in the arena and solve the pieces of equipment.
On repeated runs they showed visible excitement, such as wagging their tails vigorously, at being led to the entrance to solve the problems again.
The control dogs, on the other hand, were more reluctant to go in and pick up their treat without having to solve any of the ‘puzzles’.
This, according to the researchers, shows that dogs enjoy problem-solving just like humans do.