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Posts Tagged "Dog"

Dog Spies

Dog Farts Blow Up Building

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Well, not quite. But maybe they wrecked a few Dog Fart Suits. But did cow farts blow up a building in Germany? Or is that just an April Fools joke? Read here to find out. ~~~ Image: ‘I’m gassy and I know it‘ used with permission: Tyler Gildin and Elite Daily. References Motupalli P (2013) [...]

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Dog Spies

3 Ways Dogs Have Been ‘Consciously Uncoupling’ Way Before Gwyneth

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Some people get divorced. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin ‘consciously uncouple.’ Fine. I don’t know exactly what that means (and neither do you), but here’s my take on how dogs have been ‘consciously uncoupling’ way before Gwyneth and Chris even met: 1) Butt Sniffing Humans greet with handshakes and hugs, while dogs greet with head-to-head [...]

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Dog Spies

Dog Destroys Humanity in World War Z

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One of my earliest ‘grownup’ gifts was the Dawn of the Dead box set, so I was a happy camper to find myself on recent flights to and from San Francisco sitting next to people watching World War Z. Watching the movie over someone’s shoulder without the suspenseful music helped me notice a few things [...]

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Dog Spies

February Dog Roundup (Brains, an Identity Crisis, Undrinkables and More)

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February might be a short month, but like every month, it was packed with a healthy dose of dog studies and dog news. In case you were hibernating, working, catching up on a good book (or True Detective!), taking care of a sick loved one or just not reading dog news, here’s what you should [...]

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Dog Spies

Well That Stinks! Reporters Blow Cow Farts Out Of Proportion

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Apparently cows are terrorists too. Last month, journalists reported—in what can only be described as a “chicken-run” scenario of cows plotting their big escape—that a herd of dairy cows in central Germany caused an explosion in their housing facility. Police failed to thwart the plan, as the explosion seemed to be caused by flatulence. Yes, [...]

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Dog Spies

What Do Dogs and Cows Have in Common?

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I meant to tell you this earlier. The Dog Spies tag line: ‘Explore the science behind the dog in your bed’ is actually short for ‘Explore the science behind the dog in your bed — and all the other animals we interact with and care for.’ You can see why brevity won, but this expanded [...]

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Dog Spies

Man’s Best Friend? The Mysterious Role of Oxytocin Revealed

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The World of Dog revolves around humans. If you’re a companion dog, who you socialize with, when you frolic in the park, and whether or not you procreate are often determined by someone with two legs. Even if you’re a feral or village dog — and can do pretty much what you want — you [...]

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Dog Spies

Would Your Dog Make a Good Cadaver Detection Dog?

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Sitting on the couch, with your dog curled up by your side looking ever-so-peaceful, maybe you’ve been overcome by the thought, “Gosh, wouldn’t Banjo make the most perfect therapy dog!?” Unfortunately, there’s a lot more to being a therapy dog than many realize, reminds certified applied animal behaviorist Patricia McConnell in a recent article for [...]

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Dog Spies

The Dodo Resurrects the Dog’s “Guilty” Look

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“I get it. Like you, I have known (and loved) dogs who have massacred pillows, invaded cabinets and made abstract art with toilet paper. I’ve felt confusion, disbelief, maybe even anger. And then, out of the corner of my eye, I spy the culprit with a downtrodden face, tail thumping on the ground. He knows [...]

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Dog Spies

Should Pets Be Given As Gifts?

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Growing up, I thought ‘A Pet Is Not a Gift’ was just another Golden Rule. If you had pressed young, animal-loving Julie and asked: “Well, why, Julie? Why shouldn’t a pet be a gift?” I might have come up with something like, “Well, uhm maybe the person doesn’t really want that pet. A pet you [...]

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Observations

Adaptation to Starchy Diet Was Key to Dog Domestication

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They work with us, play with us and comfort us when we’re down. Archaeological evidence indicates that dogs have had a close bond with humans for millennia. But exactly why and how they evolved from their wolf ancestors into our loyal companions has been something of a mystery. Now a new genetic analysis indicates that [...]

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Observations

What can a three-legged dog teach robots about resilience?

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Anyone who’s ever seen a dog move around on three limbs knows that canines are remarkably resilient creatures. Scientists are now wondering whether such adaptability could likewise be programmed into robots, in the event they experience damage or malfunction far from a repair shop (look no further than NASA’s Mars Spirit rover to see why [...]

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Symbiartic

It’s A Fun Game… Until The Dog Swallows It

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If I told you that a tennis ball could kill, would you roll your eyes or laugh in my face? What if I showed you this? Like a cork in a bottle, a fumbled tennis ball in an innocent game of fetch can lodge in a dog’s esophagus with the unfortunate consequence of asphyxiating your [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Wolves Can Learn From Humans. What Does That Mean For Dogs?

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Where did dogs come from? The question is harder to answer than it seems. The problem with much of the research on domestication is that the focus has been on how dogs and wolves interact with humans. Perhaps that’s understandable, since domestication is in part defined by a species’ incorporation into human culture. But to [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Does Your Dog Love You Back?

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You love your dog. Does your dog love you back? Is the love that an owner feels for her dog reciprocated? That’s the question that a group of Swedish and Danish researchers wanted to answer.

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The Thoughtful Animal

Man’s Best Friend or Oversized Rat?

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Here’s something curious. The phrase “man’s best friend” didn’t appear in print, according to Google’s n-grams, until after the year 1750. Here’s something else that’s curious: the owning of dogs as pets by anybody more than the “one percent” – the richest of the rich – is also a relatively new phenomenon, something unique to [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Searching for the Social in Contagious Yawning

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Evidence has been accumulating for several years that contagious yawning is driven by social cognition. But how? And is it related to empathy? A new study with chimpanzees sheds some light.

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The Thoughtful Animal

If You Need To Test Your New Robot, Ask A Dog

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The 1962 cartoon series The Jetsons featured a futuristic nuclear family: father George, mother Jane, and their offspring, Elroy and Judy. In the very first episode, we learn about the Jetson family’s purchase of a housecleaning robot named Rosey. Rosey is, according to paleofuturist Matt Novak, “perhaps the most iconic futuristic character to ever grace [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

What Is Operant Conditioning? (and How Does It Explain Driving Dogs?)

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While second nature to many of us, driving a car is actually a fairly complex process. At its most stripped down version, first you sit in the driver’s seat, then you start the engine, then you shift into gear, and then you must simultaneously steer while keeping your foot on the gas pedal. That doesn’t [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

For Word Learning, Size Matters If You’re A Dog

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In 1988, a three-year-old child is led into a brightly colored testing room in a psychology department in Bloomington, Indiana. A small toy is brought out and put onto a table in front of the child. The toy was wooden, blue, about two inches square, and U-shaped. “This is a dax.” The researchers picked a [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

UPDATE: Guilty Dogs on the Radio

Just a quick announcement that I’ll be on a short segment of The Aaron Rand Show, on Montreal’s CJAD 800 radio station this afternoon tomorrow afternoon, June 6, around 3:45pm eastern (12:45pm pacific). The topic will be dog guilt. If you’re in or around Montreal, I expect you can simply tune into AM 800. For [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Do Dogs Feel Guilty?

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“I walked into the house, and he was acting strange. I could tell he had done something wrong,” she told me. I pressed for further details. “His head was down, and he wasn’t making eye contact,” she explained. “Then, I found it. Under the bed.” She had spent weeks training her dog, Henry, not to [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Contagious Yawning: Evidence of Empathy?

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When is a yawn just a yawn? When is a yawn more than a yawn? Contagious yawning – the increase in likelihood that you will yawn after watching or hearing someone else yawn – has been of particular interest to researchers in fields as varied as primatology, developmental psychology, and psychopathology. At first, scientists thought [...]

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