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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...
Blog: Guest Posts
Call of the Not-So-Wild
Wolves may have something to thank dogs for
The gene responsible for dark coat color in American Gray Wolves and coyotes is a fairly recent addition to these animals’ genomes and most likely arrived through mating with domestic dogs—according to a paper published online in Science Express. The bigger surprise is that the mutation (spread through hybridization) may be helping wolves adapt and survive.  Wolves living on the tundra tend to be...
Blog: Guest Posts
Long-Term Impacts of Giving Up A Dog?
Research shows it may lead children to approach relationships as if they were less valuable.
Don't you love stories that catalog the health advantages (based on research, of course) of living with dogs? The list includes lowered blood pressure, better recovery from heart attack, less stress, less depression, lowered cholesterol and on and on. Kids with dogs develop greater empathy and are apparently more popular with peers! But a recent story in The Edmonton Journal pointed out something...
Blog: Guest Posts
New Ammo in the Dog v. Cat Fight
My sister, who lives with two cats in Southern California, regularly ends our phone calls with some version of “cats rule, dogs drool.” I actually really like cats, but this does bring out my competitive spirit. So when I saw a recent study of the biomechanics of gait revealed that dogs are more efficient than cats, I read on, hoping for some feline weakness to drop into the next conversation. I...
Blog: Guest Posts
New Study Reveals “Dog Envy”
A new study reveals dogs feel jealousy and pride.   "Dr Friederike Range, of the University of Vienna's neurobiology department, has shown that dogs feel intense jealously when they spot that they are unfairly treated compared with other dogs. 'Dogs show a strong aversion to inequity,' she said."   While I love any research that sheds new light on animal self-awareness, I have to wonder if anyone...
Good Dog: Studies & Research
The Dog Project: Researching Canine Behavioral Genetics
An investigation into the genetics of canine anxiety, phobias and fears
“This is the job that Solo got me,” says Melanie Lee Chang, PhD, a biologist who got her doctorate in evolutionary biology and physical anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania and is currently working in canine molecular genetics. Solo is her eight-year-old Border Collie. The job is as a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco (...

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