Horses and dogs understand and adapt to each other in play
If you’ve ever seen dogs and horses interact in playful behavior, you’ve glimpsed a natural phenomenon. These two highly different, yet highly domesticated mammals can play together, communicating their intentions of playing and reading and mimicking each other’s facial expressions, according to Italian researchers.
“There are behaviors that go beyond the very nature of the animal (prey/predator),” said Veronica Maglieri, an ethology student in the Department of Biology at the University of Pisa, in Italy.
“It’s really amazing to watch animals chasing each other, rolling around, and even biting each other without ever showing any doubt about the playful intentionality of their actions,” she said. “This really gives us an indication of the cognitive complexity of these animals.”