Do Dogs Appreciate Art? Let's find out!
This entry was posted on April 28, 2023.
Do dogs appreciate art? Like humans, do they have the senses to admire a painting, music work, or any art? We have seen videos of dogs attempting to paint in social media applications. Is that because they enjoy being an artist, or is it just because of their love for treats?
If you are a dog owner, then you surely must be a fan of taking cute pictures of your dog, trying out applications that can turn them into paintings or bitmojis. You might even commission artists to get a hand painting of your cute dog done.
It will be great if your dog can appreciate these paintings, artworks, watercolor pastoral scenes, sculptures, and other gifts you make for them, right? This article will analyze and determine whether dogs can appreciate art! So, read on to find the answer you have been looking for, for so long.
Is the Way Dogs See The World Similar To How We See Things?
Before discussing the question, ‘do dogs appreciate art?’, we must first understand how our beloved four-legged friends view the world. Many people fail to realize that how dogs or animals see the world is not the same way we humans see it.
The once-popular myth of how dogs can only see in black and white is untrue. They have color vision, but not in the same way as their human buddies. Scientific research has proven that dogs are not color blind but can only process two colors, blue and yellow, along with varying shades of gray.
Dogs cannot see the same range of colors as humans because they only possess two cones in their eyes compared to the three cones we have. But that doesn’t mean they are disadvantaged.
The Dog People
Unlike humans, dogs can see movement at a pretty far distance that sometimes even we won’t comprehend. Dogs are also capable of taking in visual information 25 percent faster than us human beings. This phenomenon also makes time a little slower for them; dogs see us moving in slow motion.
If dogs only see yellow, blue, and shades of grey and see everything in slow motion, do they notice art, let alone appreciate it? Let us look into if they appreciate art or not next.
Do Dogs Appreciate Scenery?
Similar to how we can't say if dogs appreciate art or not, it is impossible to tell if they appreciate the scenery. But, in this case, it is highly likely that pups enjoy and appreciate certain types of scenery.
Most dogs love going for a drive. When traveling with your dog in a car, you may have noticed how keenly your dog observes the outside. Similarly, dogs love walking and hiking to explore natural surroundings where they can sniff, run, and play.
However, it's important to note that dogs experience the world differently from humans, and what we find aesthetically pleasing may be different for dogs. Pups have keen senses and can perceive a wide range of sights, smells, and sounds we may not even notice.
So, the scenery loved by dogs may differ from those we like. The reasons they appreciate good scenery are often different from why we do. Different breeds and individual dogs may have different preferences for scenery. Some dogs may be interested in exploring their surroundings, while others may be content lounging in a comfortable spot.
Are Dogs Even Aware of Art?
Dogs rarely respond to 2D images, unlike how they react to real people. If you are a dog owner, you may already have noticed how your dog is indifferent to a picture of yours or another human but, on the contrary, jumps with joy on seeing any human that it is crazy for.
However, some studies say otherwise. Some researchers found that dogs can recognize their owners from pictures, images, or screens. Some of these researches even suggest that dogs have good facial recognition skills similar to humans.
The study revealed that dogs stare at pictures that have other dogs on them longer than images of people. So, dogs may at least notice artwork or photographs with other dogs in them.
Are There Any Art Shows For Dogs? Should There Be?
The World's First Dog Art Show was conducted back in 2017 in London. It was a 2-day art show titled 'Play More,' which Dominic Wilcox curated. The show was exclusively for your dog friends to enjoy art and engage themselves in cool activities like a ball pit, open car simulator, etc.
That year, there was another one in New York named 'dOGUMENTA,' which Jessica Dawson, the former Washington Post critic, curated. This art show was the first of its kind in America. This exhibition contained works of ten local artists with art pieces in hues catering to dogs' color sensitivities.
There are several dog shows that exhibit dogs of various breeds, sometimes painted with safe paints matching paw colors or in cute costumes. These exhibitions often happen in America and all over the world throughout the year.
Like these, dog art shows must also get conducted often to make them acknowledge and appreciate art more. Art must not only get enjoyed by us human beings. It also deserves to be enjoyed and appreciated by man's best friends, and art shows can help achieve this.
The Dog People
Do Other Animals Appreciate Art?
The answer to 'Do Animals Appreciate Art?' is complicated. No particular studies prove precisely if animals can appreciate art or not and if they have an eye for beautiful watercolor pastoral scenes. Some such studies have shown animals reacting to music and enjoying performance arts, but it is hard to determine what is happening in their minds.
In one study, two students showed how fish could differentiate between the different styles of music. They found that goldfish and koi fish could pick out tunes of John Sebastian Bach from those that belonged to other artists. However, this doesn't prove if they appreciated art or preferred one style of music over another.
You may have seen several tik-toks or reels of dogs trying to create artwork. Similarly, there is a famous example of a Gorilla trying to create art. Koko, the gorilla, painted a complete bird with wings and everything! Koko's friend, Michael, was also quite an artist that did several paintings, even one of his dogs, Apple.
But still, there are no studies that prove any effect of art on the brains of animals, so we cannot say for sure if dogs appreciate art or not.
How Do Animals React To Art?
While no studies have yet been capable of understanding art's effect on animals, it is safe to say that different animals react differently to art. Some animals and breeds have shown interest in visual art, while others have stayed indifferent. The animals that recognized visual art showed their ability to identify specific images and respond to just them.
The Dog People
For example, studies have shown that some primates, such as chimpanzees and orangutans, can appreciate art and enjoy looking at pictures and paintings. They have also demonstrated the ability to recognize familiar objects and even human faces in paintings. Some dolphins and sea lions got trained to create their artwork using a special underwater painting device.
Animals may not be able to appreciate art as humans do, but they may still respond to certain visual stimuli. For example, some birds display courtship behaviors in response to colorful feathers or decorations.
David Teie and Charles Snowdows were capable of concluding that cats enjoy sounds and are responsive to music that is in the pitch range and cat vocalizations. Teie now even sells music for cats online as he and his friend strongly believe cats can enjoy music in their way, if not in the same manner as we humans do.
In his book 'The Evolution of Beauty,' Richard Prum, an evolutionary ornithologist, discusses that animals can also enjoy art made by human beings to an extent. He then points to a viral video of a cockatoo dancing to 'Queen' to strengthen his argument and says, "You can't say the parrot isn't happy." He continues to say how the cockatoo spontaneously synchronized with the song, indicating that it was enthusiastic about the music.
Another excellent example of animals reacting to art and appreciating it can be taken from the way a bower bird decorates its bowers with flowers, fruits, leaves, and even bugs. It is hard to say that the bird does not care about the appearance and arrangement of the bower, considering how artistically it decorates.
Cool Green Science
It is also worth noting that some animals may be indifferent or even scared of certain types of art, mainly if it is loud or sudden. So, how an animal reacts to art can vary for different species and individual animals.
What Animal Is Very Artistic?
A few animals have demonstrated an ability to create art and produce aesthetically pleasing works. Two notable animals that showed good artistic capabilities are as follows:
1. Chimpanzees: These primates were taught to paint using brushes and canvas; some even knew how to sign their artworks. One famous chimpanzee artist is Congo, who created around 400 drawings around the age of four. Some of its creations are exhibited in art galleries and sold for thousands of dollars.
2. Elephants: Zoo Kepers and handlers sometimes train elephants using their trunks, creating colorful abstract compositions. Their dexterous trunks allow them to paint with more detail than any other animal. Some of these paintings are said to be so exceptional that they look as if people made them.
It is worth noting that while these animals may be able to produce art, their creations are often the result of extensive training or conditioning rather than a purely spontaneous expression of creativity. Some other animals that responded well when trained to paint include gorillas, seals, dolphins, and dogs.
What Animal Art Sells the Most?
Art created by elephants is often popular and has sold for significant amounts in auctions and galleries. Some artists work with elephants to create paintings by providing them with brushes and paint, guiding them through the creation process. The resulting works are often abstract, colorful, and large.
Additionally, paintings created by dogs and cats have also gained popularity in recent years, with some animal shelters using pet art to raise funds for their organizations. These works are often whimsical and playful, featuring paw prints or other animal motifs.
Dogs have always been important subjects throughout art history to depict devotional relationships. Many paintings with dogs in them or as the main subjects even went on to become classics and masterpieces. We also love learning how to paint dog portraits or use applications to convert our favorite dog pictures into paintings of different styles. With all these artworks dedicated to dogs, it will be great if they can appreciate and enjoy them.
But based on current scientific research, it is almost impossible to determine whether dogs appreciate art as humans do. However, dogs can perceive visual and auditory stimuli, and some studies have shown that they can distinguish between different artistic styles and even respond emotionally to specific pieces of music.
You can also train dogs to perform tasks related to artistic expressions, such as painting or playing an instrument. While it is unclear whether dogs experience the same aesthetic appreciation as humans, it is clear that they have some capacity for engaging with art in various ways. Ultimately, whether or not dogs appreciate art is still an open question and further research is needed to explore the nature and extent of their aesthetic sensibilities.
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