I tentatively think my dog recognises that the image she sees in the mirror is herself. As far as I know, this is considered uncommon for dogs, but my reasons for suspecting this is the case are:
- She does not react to her reflection in any way - she does not treat it as if it were another dog (which is different from what happens if she sees another dog in any other situation - in real life at a distance, through a window or on TV - in all of those cases, she reacts with excitement and interest (and often barking), but never at her own reflection.
- When we are out walking, if we encounter a dog that looks very similar to her in appearance (which is rare) she has a markedly different kind of heightened interest and approaches with what I can only describe as weird cautious curiosity; as if she knows the other dog looks like her (not just like a dog)
Obviously I’d like to test this further, but I feel like the normal mirror test (where a sticker is placed on the forehead of the subject) might not work, just because she would feel it on her (quite short) fur.
So… how can I design a test to gather more evidence either supporting my notion or dispelling it?