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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 (...
Dog's Life: Humane
Dog Is in the Details
The many sides of temperament testing
In a gathering storm centered on the policies of animal shelters, temperament testing has become a lightning rod. Some resource- and space-starved shelters—which might have once chosen dogs for adoption based on such specious criteria as color, size, age, breed or length of time in the shelter—now use a series of tests that purport to evaluate a dog’s behavior and predict whether the dog will be...
Dog Culture: Science & History
The Future of Dogs
Breeding for looks, not function, threatens dogs’ well-being
Like many people, my wife Diana and I had long been in the habit of buying purebred dogs without bothering to learn much about their breeding beforehand. And so it was in 1977, when we made an impulse purchase of a Jack Russell Terrier named Phineas. Despite the many other wonderful dogs who’d blessed our lives, we’d never known another like Phineas. Though short-legged and weighing barely 15...
Good Dog: Studies & Research
The Domestication and Social Cognition in Dogs
When it comes to reading human cues, dogs win, hands down.
As an anthropology student at Harvard, Brian Hare had a hunch. Although he was studying the cognitive capabilities of chimpanzees, his mind wandered to his youth, to playing fetch with his dog in the backyard. While the chimps he was analyzing failed to read his basic physical communications, Hare recalled how his dog would follow his pointed finger to a hidden stick or ball.” I was studying how...

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