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Blog: Karen B. London
Dogs Vary in Size Within Breeds
How big is the range?
Last weekend, there was a chocolate Lab at the athletic fields where my husband and I were playing flag football with some other people, including his guardian. Both my children had a ball running around with Porter on the sidelines. He was very sweet and well trained. He played Frisbee, chased some of the adults around if they enticed him to do so, and got off the field and sat when asked to do...
Good Dog: Studies & Research
Trait Relationships and Genetics in Dogs
Mapping the genetic relationships between physical traits in purebred dogs
Dogs come in countless shapes and sizes and exhibit more diversity than any other land mammal on earth, a fact that makes them especially appealing to geneticists. In the last decade, scientists working at more than 100 laboratories worldwide have made significant progress in painting a detailed picture of the complex relationships between physical traits, behavior and disease in purebred dogs,...
Dog Culture: DogPatch
To Clone or Not to Clone?
Dog Inc. author explains the high cost of canine cloning.
Canine cloning businesses like to tout their services as akin to resurrection—but the reality is much more complicated. In our video interview, John Woestendiek, author of the new book Dog Inc.: The Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning Man’s Best Friend, exposes the high cost of canine cloning—for both the people who invest their money and emotions in the procedure, and the laboratory animals used to...
Good Dog: Studies & Research
Yawns Are Contagious!
Catch one from your dog.
Dog Yawns
A new study provides the first scientific evidence that dogs yawn in response to human yawns. The contagious nature of yawns has previously only been demonstrated in humans and other primates, but in a recent issue of Biology Letters, scientists Ramiro M. Joly-Mascheroni, Atsushi Senju and Alex J. Shepherd report that dogs can also “catch” human yawns. The dogs in the study each spent five...
Good Dog: Studies & Research
Laughing Dogs
Research reveals their secret
On any given day, I am apt to observe my dogs. For hours, I may just be with them, watching. They delight me with their humor and they surprise me with their varied language. A few years ago, curiosity started me on a wonderful exploration into the canine vocabulary, and in the end, I created quite a stir with my research into the vocalizations dogs produce while playing. This line of inquiry...
Good Dog: Studies & Research
Study Places Origin of Domestic Dog in Middle East
A new study of the genomes of domestic dogs and wolf populations has determined that the domestic dog most likely originated in the Middle East. The finding strongly contradicts earlier mitochondrial DNA studies that put the origins of the domestication in East Asia. In comparing the various genomes of different populations of wolves and dogs, researchers at the University of California, Los...
Blog: Karen B. London
Nobel Laureate Konrad Lorenz
An ethologist who loved dogs
As this year’s Nobel Prizes were announced, I faced my annual wish for anyone interested in dog training and behavior to know that three scientists in the field of Ethology have been awarded this prize. In 1973, Niko Tinbergen (The Netherlands), Karl von Frisch (Austria) and Konrad Lorenz (Austria) were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine “for their discoveries concerning...
Good Dog: Studies & Research
Amazing Facts About a Dog's Ears
Superior Senses: Hearing
Floppy, folded, small, large—dogs’ ears come in many shapes, but they all serve the same purpose: as funnels for sound. Did you know that at least 18 muscles work to tilt, raise and rotate these furry appendages, helping the dog identify and capture sounds from different directions? Here are a few fast facts about canine ears and hearing.   A dog’s level of attention can be determined by...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Heartworm Superbug?
Should we be worried about resistance
Heartworm disease is a horrible and potentially deadly disease that is fortunately preventable with medication. However, in recent years, animals in the Gulf region have been testing positive for heartworm, despite being on a prevention medicine. This has many people worried about a potential resistant superbug. In response to the growing cases, the American Heartworm Society and Companion Animal...
Blog: Editors
Genius Award to Genetic Researcher
Unlocking secrets of canine DNA
The young son of Stanford University researcher, Prof. Carlos Bustamante, answered the phone this morning at 7 a.m., and handing the phone to his father said, “Oh, it’s for you.” News of his $500,000 MacArthur Award (“genius award”) came as a welcomed surprise to Bustamante. His work focuses on understanding the evolution and interactions of population genetics in dogs, humans and even plants and...

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