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Blog: JoAnna Lou
Fetching From A Photo
Research shows Border Collies may understand how humans communicate.
From rolling over to fetching the remote, I’ve always been impressed by the canine ability and willingness to learn whatever humans want to teach them. When I attended ClickerExpo in March, I was amazed to see videos of a shelter dog learning concepts such as bigger versus smaller and guide dogs training to develop other-awareness, the skill needed to understand if a doorway is too low for their...
Blog: Guest Posts
Good News for Dogs With Epilepsy
Veterinary clinical trial offers a chance for FREE medical treatment.
Discovering that your dog has epilepsy can be frightening. That the cause of the recurring seizures cannot be identified—known as idiopathic epilepsy—only makes matters worse. But there is some good news. A large, nationwide veterinary clinical trial for the purpose of evaluating a new medication for the treating idiopathic epilepsy is underway. The trial not only means a boost for research, it...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Ivy League Study on How Dogs Think
Harvard recruits dogs for its Canine Cognition Lab.
What pet lover doesn’t attribute human-like abilities to their dogs? I try to avoid anthromorphizing, but when you live with someone-- human or canine--you can’t help but speculate on what drives their behavior and decision-making. Scientists have spent decades studying exotic animals, such as dolphins and gorillas, while dogs have been largely neglected. I’m even guilty, having studied the...
Good Dog: Studies & Research
What are the Differences Between Male and Female Dogs?
Do male and female dogs learn differently?
“If you want a good dog, get a male. If you want a great dog, get a female and cross your fingers.” That old saying has been passed down through generations in a variety of fields from retriever training to sheepdog handling. But is it true? Are there significant sex-related differences in the training and performance of the domestic dog? When the editor of Bark asked me that question, I had an...
Blog: Guest Posts
Does Your Dog Chase His Tail?
It’s not all in his head; it’s in his blood!
Remember that viral video of a dog “attacking” his hind leg that a lot of people found funny? I cringed every time it was sent to me with a comment like, “Isn’t this hilarious?” Clearly, the dog was suffering from some kind of illness and needed treatment, not to be videotaped and shown far and wide for the ignorant masses’ amusement. That’s an extreme example, but it got me wondering—are some of...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Watch Out for Fido!
New study shows that pets can pose a risk of injury from accidental falls.
The benefits of pets are undeniable and, as a dog lover, any possible negatives (beyond vet bills and walks in the rain) seem inconceivable. However, a new study by the Centers for Disease Control found that, each year in the United States, nearly 90,000 people are injured in a fall involving their pet. Of those accidents, 88 percent were related to dogs or items such as toys. The most frequent...
Dog Culture: Science & History
Darwin’s Dogs
Celebrating the bicentennial of the father of evolution
Early in The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, Charles Darwin uncorks a passage to illustrate the capacity of dogs to love that is guaranteed to break the heart of all but the most unfeeling cad, and one that should hang over the door of every laboratory engaged in experiments with animals. “In the agony of death a dog has been known to caress his master,” he says, “and everyone...
Blog: Guest Posts
“Alpha” Training Can Backfire
Updated. New study shows aggressive techniques yield aggressive dogs.
[3/2/09 update: In a recent blog post, Susan Leisure, the director of AARF (Atlanta Animal Rescue Friends, Inc.), reacted to the latest study on aggression and dog training much like we did (below). But Leisure also recommended a Bark story, Choosing A Trainer, as "critical" reading before hiring a pro. We agree there, too.] A new study from the University of Pennsylvania confirms what so many...
Blog: Guest Posts
Kiss Me, Canine
Go ahead, it won’t hurt you and it's fun
I let my dog Lulu lick my face. It makes some of my friends a little queasy, which, honestly, is part of the pleasure. And now, thanks to some out-of-the-box research, I can say it’s not the risky behavior my more persnickety acquaintances think. A recent study by Dr. Kate Stenske, a clinical assistant professor at Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, found that dog owners...
Blog: Guest Posts
A Beautiful Mind
Pondering the dog brain
“How self-deceptive is it to treat an animal as a human?” Joachim Krueger, a social psychologist at Brown University and blogger for Psychology Today, ponders this question in a recent post, which was inspired by the passing of his 13-year-old Cocker Spaniel, Kirby. While the topic is not exactly earth shattering for those who follow the latest developments in ethology—Bark contributors and...

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