Home
Browsing articles in research
Good Dog: Studies & Research
Do Dogs Understand Our Words?
Say What?
“This is not your food! Don’t even think about eating it. This … is … not … your … food.” What do our words mean to dogs? Not that I’m about to stop speaking to dogs anytime soon, but I do wonder what my daily utterances signify to Millie, Piper, Upton and Finnegan, the dogs I converse with on a regular basis. Do I sound like a cross between Charlie Brown’s teacher and Gary Larson’s “What Dogs...
News: Guest Posts
Toy Alert
Study finds Hormone-disrupting Chemicals Leach from Some Plastic Toys
The toy aisle is meant to be all about fun, but recalls, toxic imports and a dearth of regulations have left dog owners facing tough choices. Many toys are made of plastic and may contain chemicals that interfere with hormones. A new study by researchers at the Institute of Environmental and Human Health at Texas Tech University shows that BPA and phthalates, chemicals that disrupt hormones, “...
Good Dog: Studies & Research
Do DNA Tests Reveal Genetic Secrets?
The Beauty of Diversity
For those of us who love dogs, using DNA tests to deconstruct our mongrel pooch’s mysterious heritage is appealing because we want to be able to answer the question, “What kind of dog is that?” Companies say that DNA-based diagnostic tests, which sell for about $60, can answer the question by comparing your dog’s DNA to over 100 of the most popular breeds. But are the tests accurate? I decided to...
News: Karen B. London
The American Gut Project
Seeking samples from you and your pets
The gut microbiome is a factor in a range of diseases such as cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and cancer, all of which are more common in Westernized populations of both pets and people. A new study called the American Gut Project is seeking to investigate how diet affects the gastrointestinal microbiome. Previous work studying microbiomes of typical healthy adult humans raised questions...
Good Dog: Studies & Research
The "D" Word: Dominance
We talk about dominance, but do we really understand it?
If a dog has behavior issues such as a tendency to mount other dogs, any form of aggression, an overly pushy play style or poor response to training, some people are sure to claim that “dominance” is the culprit. But are they right? The ongoing dialogue about dominance in the dog world is more problematic than an unattended puppy in a shoe store but it’s unlikely to go away anytime soon. While...
Good Dog: Studies & Research
Education: Gone to the Dogs
Canines claim their territory on college campuses
Summer has faded into fall and it’s time for dog lovers — and dogs too — to head to college, where dogs are taking their place in the dorm, the psych lab and even the classroom. While some dogs simply kick back and enjoy campus life at a university with pet-friendly housing, such as Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla., or Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., others give their intellectual...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Big dogs, Small dogs
Does size affect behavior?
Big vs Small Dogs
He chose the dog, but I chose the name,” the woman explained. Their dog was an especially petite Boston Terrier, but his name — Titan — was one more typically bestowed on a larger dog. I’d seen this type of incongruity before, and though it’s sometimes just for the sake of being ironic, often it’s about conflict. Couples who disagree about whether to add a large dog or a small dog to their family...
News: Karen B. London
Wet Dog Shake
The science behind the behavior
I had always assumed that dogs shake vigorously after a bath or a swim in order to share massive quantities of water with all people in the immediate vicinity. That hypothesis fits in with my philosophical view that dogs have a generosity of spirit that knows no bounds and that they love us very much. It also matches my personal experience as a dog groomer and as a dog guardian. A recent study...
News: JoAnna Lou
Dogs and Attachment Theory
A deep emotional connection with our pets brings many benefits
When I’m having a bad day, my dogs know just how to lighten the mood and bring a smile to my face. Pet lovers have long known that animals lower our stress levels, and that fact has been proven by scientific research over the years. A new study published in the Journal of Research in Personality looks at the relationship we have with our pets from the perspective of attachment theory. Like...
News: JoAnna Lou
Cancer and Pesticides
Study finds a link between lymphoma and certain types of lawn care
I'm told that the pesticides used on my lawn are “organic,” but I still worry about the adverse effects that they might have on my pets. The dogs walk with their bare paws, roll around, and sometimes snack on the grass, so I usually keep them off of the lawn for a few days following treatment. Turns out that my fears may not be unfounded. A recent study identified a link between canine malignant...

Pages