March 2017

Deception in dogs

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A new study by Heberlein et al. (2017) suggests dogs have the ability to deceive. Honesty in animal signals is an important aspect of communication whether that is information about a prey’s unprofitability, a mate’s fitness or both, the message they transmit may determine the evolution of intricate relationships amongst species.  Thus signals can be […]

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Oldest evidence of the human-canine relationship

When a puppy was found buried with a human skeleton in 1978 at a site called Ain Mallaha in Israel, it was estimated to be around 8,000 to 10,000 years old. The image (see left) shows the skeleton – thought to be a village elder – resting his hand protectively on top of the puppy’s […]

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Don’t be a Jim – NRMs in training

Just as the sound of fingernails running down a blackboard sends tingles down my spine and raises the hair on the back of my head, the words “no” or “ah-ah” during training have a similar effect. Often used to inform the dog it’s got something wrong, in the training world these are referred to as […]

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Dogs and toddlers – similarities in cooperative communication

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A new study by the University of Arizona has further highlighted the similarities in cooperative communication skills between dogs and toddlers. The researchers studied 552 dogs including; pet, assistance and bomb-detection dogs of varying breeds.  Firstly, the team assessed the dogs’ social cognition through a number of game-related tests, hiding treats and toys, then communicated […]

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