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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.
  • Why Dogs Hump, Brought to Life In a Way You Can’t Unsee


    I’ve been writing about dog humping for years. Jon Stewart mentioned my first piece, “H*mping: Why Do They Do It?” on air. Fine, it could have had something to do with the dog-friendly workplace at “The Daily Show” being featured in that issue of The Bark magazine, but for some reason, my humping article grabbed [...]

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    Could Our Love of Dogs Obscure Their Most Important Parts?


    Ask me about my childhood dog Brandy, and I hope you have at least an hour to spare. The story of how she came into my life (told here) is entertaining enough (and to hold your attention, I would play up the parts about the mother-daughter conflict that preceded visiting the shelter, as well as [...]

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    What Did Your Dog Just Say? Researchers Want to Know


    The Beagle stopped dead in his tracks. It. Was. Coming. As the fire truck neared, the Beagle held his stance, put his head back, and out came a long, deep howl. The Beagle’s human companion waited patiently by his side for the inevitable to conclude. Dogs make noises. There’s no getting around it. To bring [...]

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    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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