dogs

03/19/2014 - 08:37

A region of the canine brain which is associated with positive expectations such as social rewards responds more strongly to the smell of a human with whom they were familiar than to the smell of humans they didn’t know or to either familiar or unfamiliar dogs. The results were obtained in a study led by researchers in Emory University and Comprehensive Pet Therapy in the USA and published in the journal Behavioural Processes.

 

10/31/2013 - 11:00

You might think a wagging tail is a wagging tail, but for dogs there is more to it than that. Dogs recognize and respond differently when their fellow canines wag to the right than they do when they wag to the left. The findings reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on October 31 show that dogs, like humans, have asymmetrically organized brains, with the left and right sides playing different roles.

 

05/24/2013 - 06:57

New research from North Carolina State University and the University of Colorado shows that households with dogs are home to more types of bacteria – including bacteria that are rarely found in households that do not have dogs. The finding is part of a larger study to improve our understanding of the microscopic life forms that live in our homes.

 

01/24/2013 - 10:16

Dogs and wolves are closely related, but their differences define them. Unlike its wild relations, a dog can read a person’s face and tone of voice, and it is curious, social, and unafraid around humans. New genetic research highlights the importance of another crucial but subtler distinction between the two species: while wolves are exclusively carnivores, dogs can digest starches. This evolutionary change may be one of the critical steps that brought dogs out of the wilderness and into our homes.

01/18/2013 - 12:25

Dogs and wolves are genetically so similar, it’s been difficult for biologists to understand why wolves remain fiercely wild, while dogs can gladly become “man’s best friend.” Now, doctoral research by evolutionary biologist Kathryn Lord at the University of Massachusetts Amherst suggests the different behaviors are related to the animals’ earliest sensory experiences and the critical period of socialization. Details appear in the current issue of Ethology.

10/05/2012 - 06:44

Anyone who has had a pet instinctively knows what several physical and mental health studies have shown: people who have a companion animal have lower levels of stress, anxiety and depression than the general population. But with love comes the possibility of loss; when pets fall ill, are hurt or die, their owners bear the psychological burden of increased risk of depression and other ailments.