Do you think dogs can recognize themselves?
We know that dogs can recognize other dogs by studying their gaze or pointing with their nose or tail. Dogs certainly seem to recognize the scent of familiar dogs and people,
A researcher put it to the test. For five winters he walked behind his dog, scooped up his dog’s yellow snow and moved it to different locations down the trail. He also gathered yellow snow from other dogs.
The researcher observed his dog move down the trail and measured how long he sniffed at his and other dog’s urine patches. His dog stopped at each yellow snow patch, sniffed at it and then usually peed on yellow snow from other dogs. However the dog sniffed his own pee for a much shorter time than other dog’s and then left it alone.
The researcher concluded that dogs have a sense of “mine-ness” which is the sense of what belongs to himself and what belongs to others.
Dogs don’t seem to recognize their reflection in a mirror. Dogs encountering mirrors for the first time may treat their image as if it is another dog. They may bark at it, or give a little bow and an invitation to play as if they are encountering a real dog and engaging in social interaction.
Maybe the answer is quite simple. Dogs use smell to explore their universe as opposed to sight.