Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What Every Dog Lover Knows

Dogs have feelings, too.

Researchers in England found that dogs have complex emotions much like those they previously believed to be shared only by humans and primates. They also now believe that horses and perhaps additional species may possess emotions as well. The main focus of the study was on the concept of fairness, and the dogs showed they understood this extremely well by not performing when other dogs received a treat for doing so and they didn't.

Anyone who loves their pets could have told them this - we've all seen the look and been subjected to vocal pleasure and displeasure. But you know how scientists are like the courts - they must have proof.
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I read an earlier version of this yesterday. When the researchers began the study, several people brought their dogs. Researchers needed dogs who responded to a command to give them a paw or to shake. Only dogs who already knew how to do this were used in the study.

The dogs represented a variety of breeds, and at least one of them was a border collie.

They had to dismiss him because he insisted on herding all the other dogs.

I totally believe this because we play dodge dog on our stairs many times every day. And when my live-in handyman is around, Wrangler wants to herd us to the same level. If one of us is down and the other up, Wrangler hangs on the stairs for as long as he can stand it. Then he does everything in his power to move us to one level or the other.

What does your pet do?

3 comments:

Patricia Harrington said...

Carol,

So love your discussion about dogs and their feelings--and phychologists and their studies. We coulda told them, if they'd only listened to us. How scientific do you want to get? Just get three kids around a border collie and he/she will have them standing cheek to jowl in a circle, patrolled by said Border Collie.

And I have a shepherd, rottweiler lab mix dog, who adopted me. He sought me out when his owner had "Mooka" dumped on him by his ex-wife, who had custody of the dog. She moved into an apartment that wouldn't allow a dog that big. Dog went to ex-husband, a freight train engineer, gone for several days at a time. First night he had the dog, he left it in the backyard. I heard it howl so lonely and lost. Almost went over at one in the morning. Then howling stopped. Made up my mind, after my early appointment in the morning, I'd go get the dog. Came back about 8:30 a.m., got out of the car, and the dog was by my driver's door when I opened it. Took the dog in and had her for three days before her owner came home. Long story short, she's mine--along with the four cats who also sought me out and then moved in.

My famous last words after my husband died was a vow not to love or take care of anything that I had to feed . . . Hah!

Now I walk Mooka twice a day, have a big, black macho kitty by my keyboard and three otehr cats residing in residence.

Lonely? Not:-)

Pat Harrington

Anonymous said...

Our pets definitely have emotions. We have two dogs & two cats. There's a pecking order, they play with each other, and they get sad and happy and even embarrassed. Why are scientists so slow to learn what we already know from experience? :o)

Carol Kilgore said...

Glad you all have cats, too. We shared our home with a Siamese, Miss Kitty, for 17 years. Allergies and all. Me with the allergies, not her. Now I have to content myself with photos and stories and occasional visits with friends' felines.