Any dog owner must have noticed that his or her pet has more than once revealed a striking ability to imitate human actions. Researchers have scientifically proven that dogs are indeed genetically programmed to encode human actions and to later reproduce them, an impressive quality which accounts for their widely accepted portrait as intelligent animals.
Eight dogs were submitted to a test which was intended to clarify whether these pets possess the cognitive ability of mimetically acting like their owners. The dogs were at first exposed to human-like activities and then distracted for different time intervals, ranging between 40 seconds and 10 minutes. Afterwards, they were encouraged to recall and imitate the human action they had been exposed to at first. It was thus proven that dogs are able to reproduce human-like activities even after long breaks, regardless of whether the actions were familiar or novel.
The study proved that dogs are endowed with the amazing ability to produce mental representations of human actions and later interpret them, which allows them to imitate the same actions with a certain delay. Scientific points aside, it is now easily understandable why dogs take so much after their owners.