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IPFS News Link • Animals and Pets

True Best Friend: Dogs Really Will Rescue Their Owners -- Or, At Least They'll Try

•, by John Anderer

But, real life is rarely ever like old TV shows. Would your dog really save you if you were stuck in a well or trapped somewhere?

Researchers from Arizona State University set out to answer that question and came to a heartwarming conclusion. Yes, your dog will save you, that is, as long as he or she knows how to accomplish such a task.

The study's authors gathered 60 pet dogs together and observed what happened when each dog's owners was seemingly placed in a tough spot. None of the studied dogs had any prior experience or training saving people.

During the main phase of the experiment each dog's owner was "locked" in a big box with a light-weight door that the dogs could move fairly easily. While they were inside, participanting owners called out to their dogs for help ("help!" help me!"). All the owners were coached a bit beforehand to ensure their cries for help would sound authentic, and were told not to call out their dog's name, as that may incite the dog to take action out of obedience, not actual concern for their owner's wellbeing.