Who Is That Puppy in the Mirror?

Puppies do not recognize themselves as being reflected in a mirror. Instead they seem to first treat their image as another dog. However they soon lose interest in their reflection, perhaps because their image has no scent, or perhaps because their mirror image does bad things to them.

What Type of Training Schedule Works Best for Dogs?

Recent data suggests that daily training and extended teaching sessions may not be the most efficient way to train dogs. In fact training as little as one or two short sessions each week may be sufficient and even better in some cases.

Dog Lovers, Cat Lovers, and Human Dating Behavior

A recent survey suggests that cat lovers are less likely to call back after a date, dog lovers are willing to spend more on a date and are happy with a one night stand, while people who don't own pets are less likely to believe in the idea of a "soul mate" to spend the rest of their life with.

Dogs Can Be an Early Warning System for Diabetics

It is possible to train dogs to give an alert when diabetics enter a hypoglycemic state. The training involves using scent markers collected from patients when they are in a low blood sugar state. Having a dog that can respond to changes in blood sugar levels not only improves safety in diabetic patients, but also reduces their anxiety and improves their independence.

Is a Dog's Life Worth More Than a Person's?

Some recent research posed a moral dilemma for participants in which both a human and their own pet were in peril and only one could be saved. While you might think that the situation is clear and the human's safety would take precedence, the actual results of this study are quite surprising.

Do Owners and Their Dogs Have Similar Personalities?

When dogs and their owners are rated on the personality traits of neuroticism, extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness (intellect) they show a large degree of similarity. This is the result of the owner choosing a dog or a dog breed that is consistent with his own personality rather than the dogs changing over time through association with their owners

When Will Dogs Try to Help Humans?

By the age of two years human children show a tendency to spontaneously help others. New research shows that dogs have a similar tendency. Even untrained dogs also show that same predisposition to help people, but before they do so requires clear communication indicating what the human needs from them.

Do Dogs Look Like Their Owners?

It is a common belief that dogs and owners tend to resemble one another. This is the basis for many amusing photographs and drawings. Surprisingly there is some data which suggests that people do prefer a dog which looks similar to themselves at least in terms of their facial characteristics, the shapes of their head and the way their hair hangs.

Life History and Owner's Nature Shape a Dog's Personality

Data shows that a dog's personality is not just determined by genetics, but it is also influenced by the dog's age and sex, as well as the personal characteristics of its owner, the way that that owner interacts with their dog, and the dog's individual life experiences.

Do Dogs Actually Use Color Vision?

Recent data shows that have color vision, although limited in range compared to humans. Nonetheless dogs do use the available color information to solve problems. Given a conflict between brightness cues and color cues dogs spontaneously choose on the basis of color.

The American Heart Association Says Dogs Are Good for You

An expert panel commissioned by the American Heart Association has looked at many years of research comparing the health status of dog owners and non-dog owners. They conclude that dog ownership seems to be related with reduced risk of problems such as hypertension, obesity, and stress related risks that might cause cardiovascular disease.

Do Dogs Learn Faster for Food Than Other Types of Rewards?

The issue as to which rewards are most effective when you are trying to train dogs is very controversial, but there is a little scientific data available. A new study compares the course of dogs learning two common commands ("sit-stay" and "come") when rewards are food treats, petting, or verbal praise (like "Good dog!").

Dogs With Left Paw Preferences May Be Different Emotionally

Left and right-handedness in humans predicts specific patterns of emotional responses because of the way the brain is organized. Although left and right paw preferences in dogs are not as strong, recent data suggests that the dominant paw in a dog may also predict its emotional predispositions.

Do Politics Matter When it Comes to Loving Cats or Dogs?

A new survey shows that, despite the fact that there are more pet cats than dogs in the US, dogs are more loved than their feline counterparts. The most interesting findings, however, are that the attitudes toward dogs and cats differ between liberals and conservatives, with liberals leaning slightly more toward cats.

Beacon the US Marshal Dog: A Service Dog and a Loving Bond

People often forget that when the service dogs used by law enforcement agencies are not on duty, they are living with their handlers and become members of their household. Combined with the intensity of the situations in which dog and human work together, this means that the strength of their emotional bond can be quite deep.

Do Dogs Feel Jealousy and Envy?

Dogs have all of the primary emotions that we see in humans. They also have a sense of fairness and seem to be capable of jealousy and envy when they feel that other dogs have been receiving more rewards and attention then they are entitled to.

Are Male Dogs More Aggressive Than Females?

Male and female dogs not only differ in the frequency and the severity of aggressive behaviors, but also in the way in which canine aggression is expressed. People's beliefs about sex differences in aggression among dogs are often influenced by our stereotypes about sex differences in humans.

The Barking Dog Blues: Why Dogs Bark and What to Do About It

During the process of domestication humans specifically chose dogs that barked loudly and could sound the alarm if something unusual or dangerous occurred. To control barking we can respond to the message the dog is sending or we can mimic the behavior that wild canines used to control noisy puppies.

Does Punishing a Dog After a Transgression Really Work?

People often punish a dog after they find evidence that it has misbehaved, or sometimes in the middle of the act when the dog has already finished most of the unwanted behavior. Data shows that such punishment doesn't work. Even punishing a dog only 15 seconds after the act has been committed is unlikely to keep the dog from behaving in the same way in the future.

How Many Breeds of Dogs Are There in the World?

There are many more recognized dog breeds than those that you are already familiar with. This is a listing of those breeds that can be internationally registered as pedigreed, organized by their country of origin. There are some surprises, such as the fact that that the Australian Shepherd was developed in the U.S. and the Pharaoh Hound is actually from Malta.

The Truth about Cats and Dogs—by the Numbers

Some new survey data provides an interesting snapshot about the population of dogs and cats in America, how we treat them, care for them, and relate to them. It also illustrates some interesting ways in which we regard dogs and cats differently.

Behavior Differences in Dogs from Pet Stores Versus Breeders

Recent research shows that dogs purchased as puppies from pet stores are more likely to have behavioral difficulties than dogs obtained from breeders. This is particularly the case in terms of aggression and fearfulness.

E. B. White and the Crime of Harboring an Unlicensed Dog

There are some odd aspects about the way that municipalities enforce dog licensing laws. In 1951 the author and humorist E. B. White responded to the charges of the New York City ASPCA that he was 'harboring an unlicensed dachshund.' His letter in response to that accusation is bound to make you laugh.

The Ultimate Incentive: Take This Job and Win a Puppy

Capitalizing on the affection associated with the human-dog bond, a Seattle company has launched a new hiring campaign. They are offering a free puppy as an incentive to engineers specializing in information technology that they want to employ. Even if you simply refer a specialist to them, if he or she is eventually hired, that will also win you a pup.

Will Killing Dogs and Cats Be an Olympic Event?

The Russian city of Sochi has offered a tender to poison all stray dogs and cats in the municipality in order to "clean up the environment" before the Olympic Games. Protests have halted their actions for the moment, but the final outcome remains unclear.

Does Genetics Determine a Dog's Personality?

Studies that have looked at systematic crossbreeding of dog breeds have shown that the first generation offspring show a blend of their parents personality characteristics. However subsequent generations become much more unpredictable which has implications for the so-called "designer breeds".

The Grief Over the Loss of a Dog and the Joy of Remembering

Dealing with the grief associated with the loss of a well loved dog is never easy. In 1940, the Nobel prize-winning playwright Eugene O'Neill came face-to-face with this problem and wrote a last will and testament in the voice of his dog. That document may bring comfort to many people facing bereavement because of the death of their dog.

Dogs That Bite and People That Don't Listen

Since dogs are often viewed as being part of a family, it is not surprising that, in the same way that we deny and try to explain away misbehavior in our children, people often do the same for dogs that act aggressively. This appears to be particularly the case for those attempting to deny the aggressive tendencies of the pit bulls breeds.

Do Humans Serve as a "Safe Haven" for Stressed Dogs?

Recent research based on physiological responses shows that dogs, like children, find safety and comfort in stressful situations from the mere presence of a familiar and friendly person.

Which Emotions Do Dogs Actually Experience?

Dogs have the same emotions as a human 2 year-old child