Scientists Need 10,000 Dogs To Help Them Study Canine Aging

What would you do to help all dogs live longer? Would you fill out surveys about your pooch? Send in DNA samples and vials of poop? Scientists for the Dog Aging Project certainly hope so. They’re counting on 10,000 dog lovers to volunteer their pups for a five year study on canine aging. The project is the largest-ever study on how dogs age. It will rely on pup parents to provide data such as veterinary records, DNA samples, gut microbes … Read more

Can Human Psychology Help Shelter Dogs Find The Right Homes?

Potential adopters tend to enter animal shelters with some idea of their perfect pup. However, according to psychologists at Indiana University Bloomington, their final decision is often based on only a few specific traits. The discrepancy between what a person says they want and what they actually choose is referred to as the stated–revealed preference gap. It is the basis for Dr. Samantha Cohen’s research on the adoption process. The Problem Currently, 13% of adopted dogs end up back at … Read more

The Science Behind Cute Aggression: Why Some People Want To Squeeze Adorable Creatures

Have you ever looked at your dog and thought, “You’re so cute, I could just squeeze you!”? You certainly aren’t alone! The desire to pinch a baby’s cheeks or bite an adorable pup’s ear are examples of a phenomenon known as cute aggression. Recent research suggests this desire for rough lovin’ is not only normal, it may serve an evolutionary purpose. Katherine Stavropoulos, a licensed clinical psychologist with a background in neuroscience, first heard the term “cute aggression” when she … Read more

The Color Of Your Labrador’s Coat Could Help Predict His Lifespan

A recent study published in the journal, Canine Genetics and Epidemiology, has worrying news for a third of the world’s lab lovers. Researchers at the University of Sydney found that chocolate labs have significantly shorter lifespans than their black and yellow brothers and sisters. Labrador Retrievers (of all coat colors) are the long-standing favorite breed in the United States and Australia. The researchers collected and analyzed electronic patient data from more than 33,000 black, yellow and chocolate labradors in the U.K. They … Read more

Study Suggests Letting Dogs Sleep In Bed Is Good For Chronic Pain Sufferers

Healthcare providers often recommend removing pets from the bedroom in order to improve a patient’s sleep quality. While dogs can certainly be disruptive bed hogs, a study conducted by the University of Alberta suggests their presence may be “overwhelmingly positive” for pet parents suffering with chronic pain. “When you ask people to remove an animal they are in the habit of co-sleeping with, it could have consequences the health-care provider hasn’t considered,” says Cary Brown of UA’s Faculty of Rehabilitation … Read more

Scientists Study YouTube Videos To Discover The Lesser Known Triggers For Dog Bites

Common reasons dogs snap at humans include fear, pain and resource guarding. Recently, a team of researchers from the University of Liverpool set out to discover the lesser understood triggers for dog bites by analyzing 143 YouTube videos showing 362 real bites. Dog bites are a global health problem causing physical, mental, and financial strain to individuals, health care systems, and businesses. They also affect canine welfare, as many dogs are relinquished to shelters or euthanized for biting, even when the incident … Read more

Take A Peek Inside The Library That’s Dedicated Entirely To Dogs

Did you know that the Kennel Club in London has a library devoted entirely to publications about dogs and it’s open to the public? They claim to be the largest dog library in Europe and one of the largest in the world. This isn’t the type of library where you check books out and take them home, though; it’s a research library where all materials must stay on the premises. Just about anything you might need to know about dogs, … Read more

What Are Dogs Thinking When They Stare Into Our Eyes?

You may remember the classic TV show Lassie featuring a faithful Collie who inevitably saved the day in each episode. Lassie would whine, dance and stare daggers at her humans until they followed her to the site of that week’s calamity. Have you ever wondered if there is more behind your own dog’s stare than just love and adoration? Could it be that they are trying to tell us something with their intense gaze? In 2015, a study published in the journal, … Read more

Researchers Identify Possible Risk Factors For Anxiety & Aggression In Dogs

According to VetStreet.com, as many as 90% of all dog owners report behavioral problems – most commonly in the categories of anxiety and aggression. Not only do these issues compromise the dog’s wellbeing and their relationship with the humans and other pets in the household, they also increase the dog’s risk of being surrendered to a shelter. A group of researchers in Northern Italy conducted a study to shed light on how and why behavioral problems develop in certain dogs. Their … Read more

New Study Finds That Dogs Have More Brain Power Than Cats

Dog people and cat people have long argued about which species is more intelligent. Scientists from Vanderbilt University believe that their latest research may settle the matter once and for all. They compared the number of cortical neurons – the “little gray cells” associated with thinking, planning and complex behavior – in the brains of several carnivores. When it came to dogs and cats, the pups won in a landslide! Their cortical neuron count was found to be more than double … Read more

Study Shows That Smiling, Gazing At Your Dog Makes Them Love You More

Dogs are incredible. Truly, they are. Not only do they recognize when we smile and gaze at them, they know that these are expressions of our love and affection! Our pups make us so happy, we can’t help but grin and look lovingly at them. And according to new research, our dogs understand the sentiment. (If you have a dog, you probably already had a hunch!)   According to Medical News Today: “Every time you gaze lovingly into your dogs’ … Read more

The Truth About Color Blindness In Dogs

There was a time when dogs were thought to be completely colorblind, unable to see anything but shades of grey. While their range is limited compared to the spectrum we see, our pups do perceive color. Basically, dogs are able to distinguish between yellows, blues, and violets; but cannot distinguish between reds, greens, and oranges. These colors appear somewhere on their yellow to blue spectrum. A new study conducted by Italian researchers at the University of Bari’s Department of Veterinary Medicine sought to … Read more

Study Shows That Dogs’ Facial Expressions Change When Looking At You

We’ve all heard of “puppy dog eyes,” and if you’re a pup parent, you just know that they wear their feelings on their adorable faces. Now recent research suggests that our hunch is correct: dogs do use facial expressions to communicate with us! In a study conducted by the University of Portsmouth, 24 dogs of all types of breeds (including mutts) were observed when looking at a human. The person in the study would turn toward a wall, then look back at the … Read more

How Sharing Your Bed With Your Dog Can Affect Your Sleep

The results of a newly published study from the Mayo Clinic titled “The Effect of Dogs on Human Sleep in the Home Sleep Environment” may make you rethink your sleeping arrangements. Researchers studied the sleep patterns of 40 dog parents for one week using activity monitors. They concluded that while sharing your bedroom with a dog does not seem to negatively affect sleep, allowing them to snuggle in bed with you does. The 40 participants in the study were mostly women … Read more

Study Shows Pups Raised With “Tough Love” Make Better Guide Dogs

Researchers at The Seeing Eye training school in New Jersey have discovered that puppies whose mothers are less attentive tend to have more success as guide dog candidates. A seeing eye dog must be calm in the face of loud noises and ever-changing stimuli in order to help its master navigate the world. In a study of 98 puppies from birth to adulthood, those more intensely mothered tended to be more reactive and therefore less suited to guide dog work. The … Read more

Another Way That Dogs Benefit Your Health, Especially As You Age

A healthy level of activity is important at all ages, but when we reach late adulthood, it becomes imperitive for staving off obesity, diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. English researchers from the University of East Anglia and the Centre for Diet and Activity Research at the University of Cambridge designed a study to find out if dog ownership provided significant motivation for older adults to exercise. They found that owning or walking a dog was one of the most effective … Read more

Genetic Syndrome In Humans May Help Explain Friendliness In Dogs

Researchers have found an interesting similarity between the genes of hyper-friendly dogs and humans with a rare inherited condition known as Williams syndrome or Williams-Beuren syndrome. The developmental disorder makes the humans it affects extremely social. Williams-Beuren syndrome affects about one in 10,000 humans and is characterized by a missing chunk of DNA that contains approximately 27 genes. The physical traits of a person with Williams-Beuren syndrome include a broad forehead, full cheeks, and heart defects. But it is the mental … Read more

Study Finds That Looking At Photos Of Cute Animals May Improve Your Marriage

What do puppies, pizza and babies have in common? Besides being some of life’s greatest joys, they may all improve your marriage according to James McNulty, a psychology professor at Florida State University and lead author of an interesting new study. His research found that couples who looked at alternating photos of their spouses and the pleasurable stimuli above for six minutes every three days reported being more happily married after six weeks. The study may seem a bit silly and … Read more

Dog Family Tree Reveals How Canine Breeds Came To Be

After 20 years of collecting DNA samples from dogs all over the world, geneticists at the National Human Genome Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland finally have enough data to determine how the more than 350 modern breeds emerged around the world. The research also reveals which breeds are closely related to one another, and why some dogs are more susceptible to certain diseases.   Canines have more diversity within their species than any other land mammal. This becomes clear when you … Read more

More Shelters Are Removing Breed Labels So Adopters Can Choose With Their Hearts

There’s no such thing as second chances when it comes to first impressions. That’s why it’s vital for shelter dogs to put their best paw forward each time they meet a potential adopter. The latest research has proven that using breed labels hinders a dog’s ability to showcase her true self, and leaves an indelible black mark in the minds of prospective owners. Chloe is hoping for a Home for the Holidays. This girl is fantastic with people and has … Read more

Your Dog May Be Able To Sense Changes In Your Health Before You Do

Drug-sniffing dogs, bomb-sniffing dogs, dogs who alert their owners to house fires or intruders – there’s no doubt that the powerful canine nose helps keep us safe. On top of the outside threats they protect us from, dogs also use their sniffing power to help detect potential health concerns. They sense subtle differences in our body chemistry and behavior in order to alert us to diseases like cancer and diabetes, or warn us of an impending crisis like a seizure … Read more

Are English Bulldogs On The Brink Of Extinction?

Americans love English Bulldogs so much that we have made them our fourth most popular dog breed for three years running. Who can resist those squishy faces, those stumpy legs, those roly poly, pudgy bodies? As cute as these traits are, scientists say they could be the very reason the breed is in danger of dying off. The high demand for these adorable pups has led to inbreeding, severely limiting the English Bulldog’s gene pool. Without diversity in their DNA, … Read more

5 Ways To Tell Your Dogs You Love Them In Their Own Language

Pup parents know that our dogs love us deeply, even though they do not express it in the same manner as humans do. Recently, behavioral research saddened dog lovers when it showed that most dogs don’t like to be hugged. That’s not to say that our pups don’t enjoy receiving affection; they live for our love and approval! Try showing them your devotion in a language they can understand. 1. Gaze Deeply Into Their Eyes Dr, Brian Hare, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience … Read more