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Dog Spies

Dog Spies

Explore the science behind the dog in your bed
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    Julie Hecht Julie Hecht is a canine behavioral researcher and science writer in New York City. She would really like to meet your dog. Follow on Twitter @DogSpies.
  • Oh the cuteness. Why do dogs sneeze?


    A picture of a dog mid-sneeze is delightful. Twenty-seven dogs caught mid-sneeze is icing on the cake. It is impossible not to smile as you scroll through these dogs, squinting and contorting just like we do. But what’s with all the weird faces? I took to the literature to find out what makes dogs sneeze. [...]

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    Should Your Next Dog Be a Movie Star?


    This past weekend, I saw Heather Graham wearing cut-off shorts with lacy black tights. Someone seeing this fashion statement might be quick to run out and buy a similar outfit. You could say there is a “Movie Star Effect” for clothes and fashion, and humans of all ages follow trends and fads. As a high-schooler, [...]

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    Forever And A Day: Can Our Bond With Dogs Survive Death?


    Grover Krantz was onto something when he had his remains donated to science. A professor of anthropology, he didn’t see why death should interrupt his life-long teaching. His body first went to the University of Tennessee’s Forensic Anthropology Center, where he contributed to the study of human decay. His skeleton was then moved to Smithsonian’s [...]

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    How Chaser The Dog Aces The Verbal Section Of The Dog SATs


    Chaser, a Border Collie from South Carolina, knows the names of over 1,000 different objects. Does anyone find themselves looking at their tail-wagging friend and wondering, “Well, what do you know?” When it comes to whether dogs can understand words, Chaser—the subject of not one, but two scientific publications—can attest that the answer is: Yes. [...]

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    Could a Life-Sized TV Control Your Dog’s Brain?


    This question was not proposed by a mad scientist bent on world doggie domination. The idea to see whether dogs follow life-sized videos is actually entirely sensible. Researchers studying non-human animals want to know whether their species of interest will attend to artificial stimuli—like photographs, slides or films—because if a species realistically attends to artificial [...]

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    Game Boy, Pimples and Archie Comics: Before They Were Scientists

    JulieHecht Dog Spies

    Tracking Cats. A Book of Common Ants. Want to meet the mites on your forehead or the bacteria in your armpits? Get all that and more at Your Wild Life. Your Wild Life (Twitter) is exactly what its name suggests: scientists, science communicators, students, and citizens exploring the ecology all around us. The familiar is [...]

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    Put Your Nose First: Smellwalks for You and Your Dog


    There was no way I was going to miss something called a ‘Smellwalk.’ A social dilettante at heart, I revel in time spent in the mind of others — especially those who add an entirely different color to the palate of my worldview. While I think loads about the olfactory experiences of dogs, I give [...]

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    What’s a Dog For?


    A few years back, John Homans, former executive editor of New York magazine, published What’s a Dog For? — an intimate reflection on his beloved family dog, Stella, as well as a snapshot into the flourishing field of canine science. Looking down at the wagging tail by your side, you could easily answer the above [...]

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    Is Off-Leash Good For You and Your Dog?


    Live with a companion dog, and you’ve probably come across the Rainbow Bridge idea, a mythical land where pets go when they pass to meet with their owners at a later date. While I don’t know what’s to come — although I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to hoping my end mirrors that of [...]

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    The Dog Killer in Your Pocket


    Your pocket can hold many potentially lethal items, so let me be more specific: ‘What’s the Dog Killer in Your Pocket That You Wish No Longer Existed?’ Can you guess? Let’s review the clues: It can be lethal to dogs It can be found in your pocket You wish it no longer existed Can you [...]

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