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Blog: 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...
Blog: 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...
Blog: 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...
Good Dog: Studies & Research
Dog Training: Operant Conditioning
When operant conditioning clicked (and clucked)
On a warm and slightly overcast morning in 1967, a rusty, mustard-colored station wagon slowly approached the terminal at San Francisco International Airport. Wheels still rolling, a door opened and something gray jumped out. As the wagon continued on its way, an animal headed toward the terminal. It was a cat. Straight five steps, then wait. The glass door opened and as a portly man in a...
Good Dog: Studies & Research
Dog Smart: Exploring the Canine Mind
Researchers exploring the canine point of view
Canine Mind
Doesn’t it sound reasonable to study the behavior of cranes? After all, cranes are quite different from humans — they can f ly, spend lots of time on one leg and don’t need an external GPS to find their way to Florida. But what if we replace “cranes” with “dogs”? Why study dog behavior? Unlike cranes, dogs are not a wild species with feathers, migratory patterns or conservation needs. Dogs have...
Good Dog: Studies & Research
Q&A with Mark Derr about Dog Origins
Venturing deep into the history of our oldest friends
sociable wolves
Mark derr, long-time Bark contributor and historian of the dog, recently released a new book, How the Dog Became the Dog, in which he examines canine evolution. Derr covers a lot of ground in this work — 135,000 years, to be precise! We talked with him about the dawn of dog, and how our evolutionary pathway coincided with theirs. Claudia Kawczynska: Canines going from fierce predator to “loyal...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Do Dogs Act Guilty?
New research looks at conflict deffusing behavior in canines
74 percent of dog lovers believe that their pups act guilty when they've done something wrong.  There is plenty of evidence that dogs experience primary emotions, like happiness and fear, but it's hard to prove that they experience secondary emotions, like jealousy and guilt. In 2009, Barnard College professor Alexandra Horowitz found that dogs were more likely to display behaviors we associate...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Influencing Hip Dysplasia
Study finds exercise helps prevent the debilitating disease
Responsible breeders have done a lot to combat hip dysplasia by researching lines and x-raying their dogs. As a pet parent, I try to do all that I can to keep my pups healthy. To protect their bones and joints, I keep my crew at a healthy weight and avoid agility jump training until their growth plates close. Now new research points to additional factors that could affect the development of hip...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Understanding Our Dogs' Thoughts
Study uses MRIs to figure out what’s going on inside the canine brain
I spend so much time with my dogs that I feel like I know exactly what’s going on inside their heads. But of course I don’t. When I walk in the door, how do I know that Nemo is genuinely happy to see me or is just excited to smell all the interesting scents I brought home on my clothes? Researchers at Emory University are setting out to understand what our dogs are thinking. Using an MRI to...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Dogs are Born to Run
Study finds that our pups experience “runners high”
Sometimes it takes a good amount of effort to get myself off the couch and out for a run. But when I manage to get moving, it feels great. On the other hand, my dogs seem to naturally love running and could probably gallop around all day. As it turns out, exercising is another way that humans and canines are alike. Researchers at the University of Arizona recently found that, like people, dogs...

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