In the News

November 26, 2018: Study Investigates whether Dogs Know when They Are Wrong

New research has investigated the presence of metacognitive abilities in dogs and found that, if dogs know they do not have sufficient information to solve a problem they will actively try to seek more information. Researchers discovered this by conducting three consecutive experiments “in which dogs had to find a reward that was hidden behind one of two V-shaped fences with a gap at the point of the V.” They “varied whether dogs had visual access to the baiting procedure or not” and found that the dogs “checked more often through the corner of the V-shaped fence when they had not seen where the reward was hidden.” Read study

November 20, 2018: New Video Reveals Secrets of the Feline Tongue

Researchers created 3D scans of cats’ tongues to create a video showing how “sharp, tiny cones on cats’ tongues give their coats and skin a deep clean, instead of merely spreading their spit around” and explaining how cats exploit the use of surface tension to keep themselves clean: “Slow-motion footage of several housecats grooming revealed the felines flared their tongues outward as if taking a big lick of an ice cream cone so the papillae stood perpendicular as they move through the fur.”  Read article

October 30, 2018: Hungarian Study Aims to Better Understand Cat-Human Interactions

Behavior scientists in Hungary asked 157 cat owners about the cat-human relationship and their cat’s socio-cognitive abilities, and discovered that most owners “considered their cat as a family member, and they attributed well developed socio-cognitive skills to them.” Read study

October 24, 2018: Study Looks to Identify Factors Associated with Long-Term Working Dog Success

Given that “a relatively high proportion of potential working dogs fail to make full operational status, or are later withdrawn from service,” this new study investigates traits such as energy, interest and responsiveness and finds that “the combination of these traits may be important for a long-term working life” of police and military detection dogs. Read study

October 19, 2018: Kennel Club, Scottish Kennel Club Welcome Scottish Government’s Effective Ban on Shock Training Devices

The Kennel Club and Scottish Kennel Club report that “strict guidance has been published which provides advice on training methods and training aids for dogs, with particular focus on the welfare issues that may arise from the use of aversive methods including e-collars.” “We are of the view that training with shock stimulus is unnecessary, outdated and simply masks behavioural problems as opposed to solving them, by inflicting painful electric shocks. This can often lead to further behavioural problems. We are relieved that a year later, such devices have been effectively banned in Scotland,” said Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club secretary. Read article

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