Home
Browsing articles in research
Blog: Guest Posts
New Ammo in the Dog v. Cat Fight
My sister, who lives with two cats in Southern California, regularly ends our phone calls with some version of “cats rule, dogs drool.” I actually really like cats, but this does bring out my competitive spirit. So when I saw a recent study of the biomechanics of gait revealed that dogs are more efficient than cats, I read on, hoping for some feline weakness to drop into the next conversation. I...
Blog: Guest Posts
New Study Reveals “Dog Envy”
A new study reveals dogs feel jealousy and pride.   "Dr Friederike Range, of the University of Vienna's neurobiology department, has shown that dogs feel intense jealously when they spot that they are unfairly treated compared with other dogs. 'Dogs show a strong aversion to inequity,' she said."   While I love any research that sheds new light on animal self-awareness, I have to wonder if anyone...
Good Dog: Studies & Research
The Dog Project: Researching Canine Behavioral Genetics
An investigation into the genetics of canine anxiety, phobias and fears
“This is the job that Solo got me,” says Melanie Lee Chang, PhD, a biologist who got her doctorate in evolutionary biology and physical anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania and is currently working in canine molecular genetics. Solo is her eight-year-old Border Collie. The job is as a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco (...
Dog's Life: Humane
Dog Is in the Details
The many sides of temperament testing
In a gathering storm centered on the policies of animal shelters, temperament testing has become a lightning rod. Some resource- and space-starved shelters—which might have once chosen dogs for adoption based on such specious criteria as color, size, age, breed or length of time in the shelter—now use a series of tests that purport to evaluate a dog’s behavior and predict whether the dog will be...
Dog Culture: Science & History
The Future of Dogs
Breeding for looks, not function, threatens dogs’ well-being
Like many people, my wife Diana and I had long been in the habit of buying purebred dogs without bothering to learn much about their breeding beforehand. And so it was in 1977, when we made an impulse purchase of a Jack Russell Terrier named Phineas. Despite the many other wonderful dogs who’d blessed our lives, we’d never known another like Phineas. Though short-legged and weighing barely 15...
Good Dog: Studies & Research
The Domestication and Social Cognition in Dogs
When it comes to reading human cues, dogs win, hands down.
As an anthropology student at Harvard, Brian Hare had a hunch. Although he was studying the cognitive capabilities of chimpanzees, his mind wandered to his youth, to playing fetch with his dog in the backyard. While the chimps he was analyzing failed to read his basic physical communications, Hare recalled how his dog would follow his pointed finger to a hidden stick or ball.” I was studying how...
Good Dog: Studies & Research
Chicken Training with Your Dog
Learning dog training with fine feathered friends
I went through the picture in my head. Chicken number one climbs up the ladder, onto a one-foot-wide platform, makes a 180-degree turn and tightropes across a narrow bridge to a second platform, where it pecks a tethered ping-pong ball, sending the ball in an arc around its post. The chicken then turns 180 degrees and negotiates a second ladder back down to ground level, where it encounters a...
Good Dog: Studies & Research
Why Dogs Fear Thunderstorms
Q&A with Nancy Dreschel, DVM
Nancy Dreschel has long been interested in the ways people and animals interact. She got her degree in veterinary medicine from Cornell University, but her lifelong interest in behavior led her to return to graduate school five years ago to pursue a PhD in biobehavioral health at Penn State University. She, her husband and their two sons share their home with one dog, two cats, four fish and a...
Good Dog: Studies & Research
For Dogs, What We Do is More Important Than What We Say
Research shows that for dogs, actions count
My suspicions were confirmed on December 26, 2002, while at the Metreon Theater in San Francisco. As the youngest in the family, my job was to wait in line for tickets, and, knowing this, I went prepared with a scientific article titled, “Do dogs respond to play signals given by humans?” The research, lead by Nicola Rooney at the Anthrozoology Institute in Southampton, UK, featured 21 dog/owner...
Good Dog: Studies & Research
Do Animals Have Emotions?
Of course they do
One of the hottest questions in the study of animal behavior is, “Do animals have emotions?” And the simple and correct answer is, “Of course they do.” Just look at them, listen to them and, if you dare, smell the odors that pour out when they interact with friends and foes. Look at their faces, tails, bodies and, most importantly, their eyes. What we see on the outside tells us a lot about what’...

Pages