In human psychology circles, the ‘Rouge Test‘ is considered an important assessment tool for evaluating self-awareness in children.
Human toddlers start recognizing themselves in a mirror when they are around 18 months old. Passing the ‘Rouge Test’ is one sign that a child’s cognition is developing according to generally accepted benchmarks.
In the animal kingdom, however, only higher primates, dolphins, orcas, elephants, and European magpies recognize that what appears in a mirror is actually their reflection. And (not surprisingly), pigs don’t recognize themselves, but do use clues in mirrors to focus on food that is placed behind them.
So what about dogs? Dogs are usually startled by images in a mirror when they are young, and when the images don’t pass the ‘sniff test’ (which they never do!), dogs learn to just ignore them.
Do your dogs try to “chase” what’s in the mirror, or do they leave it alone?