Dog

The Thoughtful Animal

Category archives for Dog

Does Fido see the cup as half full? Is your dog pessimistic? Last time we saw headlines like these they were about a certain barnyard animal. Remember “Pampered pigs ‘feel optimistic’”? I didn’t like it then, and I don’t like it now. Roughly half of the population of dogs in the UK are likely to…

Friday Night Films

This one is worth watching all the way through: (h/t Sara) And, from the sublime to the mundane: (h/t Dr. Kiki)

I showed this video today as an intro to my 8-week “mini-course” on Canine Cognition.

Children and Their Pets

Your humble narrator finds himself sick with a cold, so here’s a post from the archives. There is considerable research on how children interact with other children and with adults, and how child development can be influenced by those interactions. But research on children’s interactions with non-human animals seem to be limited. Given how ubiquitous…

Cooperation and conflict are both a part of human society. While a good deal of the academic literature addresses the evolutionary origins of conflict, in recent years there has been an increased focus on the investigation of the evolutionary origins of cooperative behavior. One component of cooperative behavior that might be present in other animals…

At least one dog can be found in forty percent of US households, and forty percent of those owners allow their dogs to sleep on their beds. To put this in perspective, in a family with five children, two of them can be expected to become dog owners, and one of them will probably allow…

Dogs are pretty smart. They can have huge vocabularies, they can infer meaning in the growls of other dogs, and they can effortlessly figure out if other dogs want to play or fight with them. But their intelligence might be limited to the social domain; indeed, while they outperform chimpanzees in social tasks, chimpanzees outperform…

I will be reposting some dog-related posts from the archives in the coming few weeks as I prepare for the course I’m teaching this semester on dog cognition. Please let me know if you find something inaccurate or unclear. Domesticated dogs seem to have an uncanny ability to understand human communicative gestures (see here). If…

Hands Off My Bone!

Different dog growls mean different things, right? Probably. But can you tell the difference? Here’s a dog growling when someone is trying to steal its food: link to mp3. Here’s a dog growling at a stranger: link to mp3. You probably can’t tell the difference. Neither could I. Dogs can. Surprised? Probably not. But, this…

Dogs on the ‘Net

Only a few minutes today to get out a few interesting links, because I’m busy writing up an IACUC proposal. First, a post on dogs from one of the Psychology Today blogs. I think he’s mostly wrong. And will probably spend some time over the weekend writing a post about it. Second, another post on…