Tag Archives: Dogs

Your dog’s breed doesn’t determine its personality, study suggests | Science | AAAS

Work challenges popular idea that breeds have specific, reliable behaviors

28 Apr 20222:00 PM, By David Grimm

Tod the papillon, posing for a photo at the end of his lifeKen Morrill/Yenra Photography

When Kathleen Morrill was 12, she decided she needed a puppy. Not just any puppy—a pint-size papillon with a black button nose and bushy, perky ears. When her parents resisted, “I turned on the waterworks,” laughs Morrill, now a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts, Worcester.

And so, the family ended up with its first dog—a 2-month-old pup she named Tod.

Tod was registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC), whose website describes his breed as “curious” and “friendly” with a “hardy constitution.” But the puppy was shy and scared of strangers, and he developed separation anxiety as he aged.

When Morrill’s family got another papillon, Rosie, a year later, she was entirely different: bold, outgoing, and adoring of all people. “Breed can be important,” Morrill says, “but it’s not the full picture of a dog’s behavior.”

From article…

Now, she has the science to back that up.

In a new study, Morrill and her colleagues show that almost none of the behaviors we associate with dog breeds—from lovable Labradors to pugnacious pit bulls—are hard-wired.

Aside from a few ancient traits, environment seems to play a much larger role than pedigree.

Source: Your dog’s breed doesn’t determine its personality, study suggests | Science | AAAS

Pet therapy: how dogs, cats and horses help improve human wellbeing | The Conversation

By Ann Hemingway, Professor of Public Health and Wellbeing, Bournemouth University, Published: April 8, 2022 8.10am EDT

We’ve all heard of the psychotherapy couch, and the dynamic between a client and their human therapist.

But perhaps less well known is the increasingly popular pet therapy. And no, that’s not therapy for your pet – it’s the relatively new phenomenon of therapy for humans, which involves animals.

These animal assisted interventions (AAIs) – which also include a trained human professional – are proving beneficial to people of all ages, leading to significant reductions in physiological responses to stress – such as heart rate – and associated emotions, such as anxiety.

It’s a longstanding and widely accepted fact that people of all ages can benefit from partnerships with animals as pets. From the joy of the human-animal bond, to companionship and improved mental health, there is no doubt that cats, dogs and other pets enhance our lives immeasurably.

But over the last ten years or so, animals have started to help humans in settings away from the home – such as hospitals and care homes for the elderly, as well as schools, universities, prisons and rehabilitation services.

Source: Pet therapy: how dogs, cats and horses help improve human wellbeing

Who’s a clever dog? Scientists study secrets of canine cognition | Dogs | The Guardian

Dogs can figure out some things that even chimps can’t. Our science correspondent puts her puppy retriever to the test

By Nicola Davis, Mon 17 Jan 2022 02.00 EST

Studying the skills of dogs such as six-month-old Calisto can help shed light on which parts of communication are unique to humans. Photograph: Sarah Lee/The Guardian

It’s a cold winter’s day, and I’m standing in a room watching my dog stare fixedly at two flower pots.

I’m about to get an answer to a burning question: is my puppy a clever girl?

Dogs have been our companions for millennia, domesticated sometime between 15,000 and 30,000 years ago. And the bond endures: according to the latest figures from the Pet Food Manufacturers Association 33% of households in the UK have a dog.

But as well as fulfilling roles from Covid detection to lovable family rogue, scientists investigating how dogs think, express themselves and communicate with humans say dogs can also teach us about ourselves.

And so I am here at the dog cognition centre at the University of Portsmouth with Calisto, the flat-coated retriever, and a pocket full of frankfurter sausage to find out how.

Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item…

Source: Who’s a clever dog? Scientists study secrets of canine cognition | Dogs | The Guardian

Do dogs miss us when we are gone? A “talking” dog offers insights | Salon.com

The viral dog, who communicates with a series of buttons, is very curious where her friends are off to

By Nicole Karlis, Published October 10, 2021 10:00AM (EDT)

Bunny the talking Dog (Instagram/@what_about_bunny)

Any dog owner knows how hard it is to leave their pup for an extended period of time.

We wonder: Do they miss us when we’re gone? Do they know how long we’ve been gone for? Or even worse, do they think we’ve abandoned them?

The way humans are excitedly greeted by their dogs upon return — and the way many whine when we leave — suggests they recognize our absence, and mourn it. However, it’s hard to know what is really going on in a dog’s brain — perhaps they just miss the food we give them? — partly because we can’t really communicate with them.

Source: Do dogs miss us when we are gone? A “talking” dog offers insights | Salon.com