Assumptions about future behavior of shelter dogs seen as food aggressive are unfounded.

Posted on August 30, 2013May 31, 2022Categories News, Research & PublicationsTags   Leave a comment on Assumptions about future behavior of shelter dogs seen as food aggressive are unfounded.

Animal shelters may conduct what they describe as behavioral evaluations of the dogs they receive, in order to discover what they presume will be problem behaviors when the dogs are adopted into new homes. Among the behaviors that evaluations are designed to detect are those labeled “food aggression.” The behaviors described by that term include growling, showing teeth, lunging, snapping or biting, when a person attempts to interact with the dog while it is eating, or to interfere with the … Continue reading “Assumptions about future behavior of shelter dogs seen as food aggressive are unfounded.”

Of Mice and Dogs: Their Personalities May Be Up To Us

Posted on June 17, 2013March 18, 2021Categories News, Research & Publications   Leave a comment on Of Mice and Dogs: Their Personalities May Be Up To Us

Most of us easily acknowledge the likelihood that specific behaviors can be influenced by learning, in ourselves and in other species, including the one closest to us, our companion dogs.  We can learn to tie our shoes, and our dogs can learn to walk next to us. We can even learn rules of etiquette and our dogs can learn to greet people without jumping up. But we also identify ourselves as having overarching traits, as having a fixed personality that … Continue reading “Of Mice and Dogs: Their Personalities May Be Up To Us”

Animal professionals shown to disagree with each other when assigning breed(s) to dogs of unknown parentage.

Posted on May 7, 2013May 31, 2022Categories News, Research & Publications   Leave a comment on Animal professionals shown to disagree with each other when assigning breed(s) to dogs of unknown parentage.

Summary A survey of more than 900 people in dog-related professions and services showed that they frequently disagreed with each other when making visual breed identifications of the same dog, and that their opinions may or may not have correlated with DNA breed analysis.  More than 70% of the study participants reported that now, or at one time, their breed descriptors were used in record keeping.  The results of this survey call into question the validity of a variety of … Continue reading “Animal professionals shown to disagree with each other when assigning breed(s) to dogs of unknown parentage.”

Study underscores that we can only learn what dogs are capable of from capable dogs.

Posted on January 29, 2013May 31, 2022Categories Research & Publications   Leave a comment on Study underscores that we can only learn what dogs are capable of from capable dogs.

The human community has changed dramatically in the modern era.  Both dogs and people are continually adjusting to new phenomena (trains, cars, streets teeming with other people and other dogs, to name a few) and new expectations that arise from our living in closer proximity to each other. It’s challenging enough for people. How do the dogs do it? New expectations for dogs – and for people – have arisen from our living in closer proximity to each other in … Continue reading “Study underscores that we can only learn what dogs are capable of from capable dogs.”

Study shows owners and non-owners recognize animal emotions

Posted on November 5, 2012March 18, 2021Categories Research & Publications   Leave a comment on Study shows owners and non-owners recognize animal emotions

“‘Sometimes I read about someone saying with great authority that animals have no intentions and no feelings, and I wonder, ‘Doesn’t this guy have a dog?”’ – Frans De Waal, quoted in The New York Times June 26, 2001 Charles Darwin argued that emotions evolved in both humans and animals; and scientists who have studied animals since Darwin have come to recognize the complexity of an animal’s mental states. But what about the non-professional public? Do the rest of us … Continue reading “Study shows owners and non-owners recognize animal emotions”

Winnipeg, Manitoba far behind Calgary in community safety

Posted on July 9, 2012May 31, 2022Categories News, UncategorizedTags   Leave a comment on Winnipeg, Manitoba far behind Calgary in community safety

A paper published last week in the Journal Injury Prevention attempted to make the case that “pit bull” bans in Manitoba may have been effective in reducing dog bite injury hospitalizations (DBIH, in the language of the paper).  [1]  In attempting to do so, however, the authors revealed that the bans, applicable to the overwhelming majority of Manitobans, including citizens of Winnipeg, had not resulted in improved community safety; and that the safety record of Manitoba lags far behind that … Continue reading “Winnipeg, Manitoba far behind Calgary in community safety”

‘What kind of dog is that?’: Dog experts needed to participate in new University of Florida survey regarding visual breed identification

Posted on May 17, 2012May 31, 2022Categories News, Research & Publications   Leave a comment on ‘What kind of dog is that?’: Dog experts needed to participate in new University of Florida survey regarding visual breed identification

Assisted in part by a grant from the National Canine Research Council, the Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida’s School of Veterinary Medicine is conducting a national survey of dog experts (breeders, trainers, groomers, veterinarians, shelter staff, rescuers, and others). Based upon responses to an online survey, Program Director Dr. Julie Levy DVM, PhD, DACVIM and her collaborators will compare responding experts’ best guesses as to the breeds of 20 dogs in a series of photographs. Guesses … Continue reading “‘What kind of dog is that?’: Dog experts needed to participate in new University of Florida survey regarding visual breed identification”

The quality of a dog’s relationship to humans is a crucial determinant of social behavior

Posted on March 28, 2012March 18, 2021Categories Research & Publications   Leave a comment on The quality of a dog’s relationship to humans is a crucial determinant of social behavior

Note: This blog was originally written in 2012, the below document was updated in 2016 to reflect the most recent research.   For almost 2 decades, The Family Dog Project has been at the forefront of research demonstrating that dogs have a special ability that few other animals possess: to notice and respond to social signals from humans. Jozsef Topál and his colleagues have discovered that this canine ability to connect with humans is enhanced, if not determined, by the … Continue reading “The quality of a dog’s relationship to humans is a crucial determinant of social behavior”