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Blog: JoAnna Lou
Do Men Make Dogs More Reactive?
A study looks at the characteristics of reactive dogs
As pet lovers, we've always known that animals pick up on our emotions. When I first started competing in rally obedience and agility, Nemo always seemed to pick up on how nervous I was. As I gained more confidence, Nemo also looked more comfortable in the ring. But could our being male or female affect our pets? According to a new study, the sex of the person on the other end of the leash...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Eavesdropping on Humans
Study: Dogs behave based on observations of people
My dogs always seem to be watching what I'm doing. I'd like to think they care about my well being, but I think they're more interested in any clues that I might drop food or that it might be dinner time. A recent study led by Sarah Marshall-Pescini at the University of Milan looks at the information dogs get from watching us and the decisions they make based on that data. Her research focused...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Cancer Detecting Pups
Dogs can diagnose lung cancer in humans
Earlier this week, I wrote about the depressing number of dogs affected by cancer. Many organizations and researchers are working towards finding a cure. Meanwhile, dogs may play an important part in curing humans. Lung cancer is the the deadliest form of cancer worldwide, but current detection methods have been unreliable. Scientists are looking at a possible test for volatile organic...
Dog Culture: Stories & Lit
Anthrozoology Books Explore the Science and History of Dog-Human Bond
Scientists have only recently caught on that canines are not just a fertile subject for their particular specialties — psychology, anthropology, zoology, ethology and more — but also a topic that the publishing world seems eager to promote. This trend has been a long time developing. Nobel Prize–winner and ethology’s co-founder, Konrad Lorenz, wrote Man Meets Dog (1950), breaking ground that lay...
Dog Culture: Reviews
Dog Inc.: The Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning Man’s Best Friend
Avery Publishing, 320 pp., 2010; $26.00
After the birth of Snuppy, the world’s first cloned dog, a handful of biotech entrepreneurs envisioned a thriving business that would provide grieving dog lovers with genetically identical clones of their deceased pets. In Dog Inc., Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist John Woestendiek exposes the grave folly behind those science-fiction dreams. Woestendiek travels between the United...
Dog Culture: DogPatch
Q&A with Dog Sense Author John Bradshaw
Making sense of dogs
What is an anthrozoologist, anyway? Turns out it’s someone who studies human-animal interactions, and John Bradshaw, who directs the world-renowned Anthrozoology Institute based at the UK’s University of Bristol (and founded it at the University of Southampton), is pre-eminent among them. For more than a quarter of a century, he’s investigated the behavior of dogs and their people, and his...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Evolution of Barking
Study finds humans responsible for barking
Since I share a home with two Shetland Sheepdogs, barking is a part of my everyday life. While I enjoy hearing all the funny noises my pets make, barking can have serious consequences: It is one of the behavior problems that lands dogs in shelters. Ironically, humans may be responsible for the very barking we complain about. Csaba Molnar, a former ethologist at Eotvos Lorand University, has...
Blog: Guest Posts
How Dogs Drink
They’re not so different than cats after all
I love research that reveals surprising similarities between species, especially species often depicted as rivals. Last year, when MIT researchers “discovered” cats had a sophisticated and speedy mechanism for drawing fluid into their mouths, which was one reason they aren’t as sloppy as canines, it just seemed like one more example of the old cats are sleeker, neater, smarter argument. The...
Good Dog: Studies & Research
Dogs Use Non-Aggressive Fighting to Resolve Conflicts
Dogs have many ways to resolve conflicts
In an obedience class for adolescent dogs, Denny, a male Rottweiler, and Meadow, a female Doberman, investigate one another. Denny circles Meadow and tries to mount her from behind for the third time in a row. This proves too much for her. In an instant, Meadow’s lips retract as her body becomes tight, and before we know it, Denny is on the ground with Meadow standing over him, growling. Meadow...
Good Dog: Studies & Research
Breeds and Behavior
How Closely Are They Linked?
I’m interviewing a new client whose dog tends to bark and charge and nip the heels and dan- gling hands of retreating strangers. Her dog is smallish and stocky, with a coarse, medium-length coat of mottled blue-gray, black, white and brown. His nose and ears are pointy. While I reassure her that his behavior actually makes sense from his doggy point of view, a little voice in my head whispers, “...

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