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Animal Shelters

Florida animal services agency strikes breed labels from kennel cards and website

Evidence has mounted in recent years that guesses as to a dog’s breed or breeds usually do not correspond with breed identification using DNA technology. Different observers, even those engaged in dog-related professions, frequently disagree with each other when looking at the same dog. Animal behavior and ethology studies have demonstrated that we cannot reliably predict the future behavior of a purebred dog on the basis of its breed or breed mix, whether or not we have documented the pedigree

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Canine Research

Neuroscience May Confirm What Many Dog Lovers Already Know

Dog owners regularly attribute emotions such as love and loyalty to their pets, and may be just as regularly dismissed for doing so. The Dog Project, being conducted by Dr. Gregory Berns, a neuroeconomist at Emory University in Atlanta, has detected canine brain activity suggesting that dog owners may have the last laugh. Dr. Berns studies “the neurological basis for individual preferences.” He uses functional MRIs (abbreviated as fMRI) to measure changes in key parts of people’s brains at a

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Canine Genetics

Cloning Shows That All Dogs Are Individuals

Britain’s The Telegraph newspaper is reporting that a Korean company will be offering one lucky British dog owner a chance to have his or her dog cloned for free.[1] While the price is right – the Sooam Biotech’s customary fee for cloning a dog is just north of $100,000 – geneticists are cautioning that the resulting animal will not be identical to the original. Too many different factors operate on an individual, scientists caution, for two individuals to be carbon

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Animal Shelters

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

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Breed-Specific Legislation

Obama Administration opposes breed specific legislation (BSL)

In an unprecedented initiative, the White House released a statement announcing that the Obama Administration does not support breed-specific legislation (BSL). The statement was a response to an anti-BSL petition created in December 2012, which quickly garnered more than 30,000 pet-loving signatures. Referring to the position taken more than a decade ago by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), an agency of the US Department of Health and Human Services, the White House reminded readers that “research shows that bans on certain types of

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Janis Bradley joins National Canine Research Council

Author and educator Janis Bradley has joined National Canine Research Council as Associate Director of Communications and Publications. In addition to serving as an academic liaison, and reporting on current developments in scientific research and public policy, Janis will oversee NCRC research projects. “Science has more and more to tell us about dogs and their unique bonds with people,” Janis said, in discussing her new position. “NCRC has taken on the unique mission of making the best of this burgeoning knowledge

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Breed-Specific Legislation

Rhode Island Becomes Third State This Year to Preempt Breed-Specific Legislation.

Governor Lincoln Chafee has signed[1] into law a bill that prohibits any Rhode Island city or town from regulating dogs or cats on the basis of breed. Rhode Island becomes the third state this year, and the 16th state overall, to enact a breed preemption statute. The law took effect immediately upon Governor Chafee’s signature. House Bill 5671 was introduced last February.  In accordance with all of the available scientific evidence, the sponsors argued that no breed of dog is

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Canine Behavior

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

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Breed-Specific Legislation

Connecticut joins state ranks preempting breed-specific laws

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has signed a bill that preempts municipalities from regulating dogs on the basis of breed. HB6311, which was co-sponsored by 31 state representatives and senators, addressed only the issue of breed-specific legislation.  It provides that “no municipality shall adopt breed-specific dog ordinances.” HB6311 sailed through the state legislature, virtually unopposed.  The House of Representatives voted 142-0 in favor.  The Senate passed the bill 30-4, an overwhelming majority.  Governor Malloy signed the bill on Thursday, June 6.

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Breed-Specific Legislation

Nevada law prohibiting BSL signed by the Governor.

Nevada will become the 14th state to preempt its towns and counties from discriminating against dogs on the basis of breed or appearance. Governor Brian Sandoval has signed Assembly Bill No. 110, which both describes the circumstances under which local authority can declare an individual dog to be dangerous or vicious, and prohibits a local authority from either a) deeming an individual dog dangerous or vicious on account of breed; or b)passing an ordinance declaring a breed of dogs, dangerous

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