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

Can Humans Really Interpret the Facial Expressions of Dogs?

New research shows that although humans can read the facial expressions of dogs and link them to their emotional states to some extent, our accuracy is best for only a few basic emotions.

Sit! Stay! Shoot! — Do We Need Gun Control for Dogs?

Recent cases in the media report dogs shooting their owners, sometimes by accident, sometimes because of unsafe practices on the part of humans, and in at least one case a dog seems to have shot a man in self-defense.

Can Dogs Form True Friendships with Other Dogs

Based upon research on the social structure of wolf packs, some scientists have expressed doubts that dogs can form true friendships with other dogs. However dogs are not wolves and we have genetically manipulated dogs so that they easily form bonds of friendship, not only with people, but with other dogs, and other species.

How Therapy Dogs Almost Never Came to Exist

Although the psychological establishment originally doubted the usefulness of therapy dogs to relieve stress and assist in therapeutic interventions, the concept came to be accepted because of the help of Sigmund Freud—some 15 years after his death.

The Passing of Barney Bush: First Dog

The Scottish Terrier Barney Bush played an important role in signaling a return to normalcy after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. This well loved dog often accompanied the president on his trips, occasionally resulting in some amusing and embarrassing incidents.

Dogs Learn by Modeling the Behavior of Other Dogs

Dogs and puppies can learn new tasks, and also learn how to overcome emotional situations, by watching and imitating the behaviors of other dogs.

Can We Communicate with Dogs Using Photos and Replicas?

Dogs understand that replicas and photos can be symbols for real objects.

How Many Miles per Gallon Does Fido Get?

Dog-powered bicycles, tricycles, and scooters are beginning to appear on our streets. This is been tried in the past, and has resulted in the patenting of some strange looking vehicles.

Do Dogs Have Winter Blues or Suffer from SAD?

Low light levels during the winter can cause hormonal shifts in humans leading to the lethargy and depression often called the "Winter Blues" or "Seasonal Affective Disorder." Dogs and cats also suffer from this problem but fortunately some simple solutions are available.

Dogs, Cats, Classical Music, and Frédéric Chopin

Recent data confirms the fact that the sound of classical music is calming to dogs, thus it is interesting to find that dogs (and perhaps one cat) have inspired the composition of some classical music at least in the case of the great piano composer Frédéric Chopin.