Dogs News -- ScienceDaily
Veterinary research and news on dogs as companions, canine health, wolf pack behavior and more. If it is news about dogs, you will find it here!
06/21/2017 11:53 AM
Piglets prefer new toys, behavior study shows
We can't help but be tempted by new things. We see it in a child's eyes when she opens a new toy, and feel it every time a new version of the iPhone is released. It turns out our preference for shiny, new things is pretty universal throughout the animal kingdom. Yes, even piglets prefer new toys.
06/20/2017 07:00 PM
Memory for stimulus sequences distinguishes humans from other animals
Humans possess many cognitive abilities not seen in other animals, such as a full-blown language capacity as well as reasoning and planning abilities. Despite these differences, however, it has been difficult to identify specific mental capacities that distinguish humans from other animals. Researchers have now discovered that humans have a much better memory to recognize and remember sequential information.
06/08/2017 11:36 AM
Sensitivity to inequity is in wolves' and dogs' blood
Not only dogs but also wolves react to inequity -- similar to humans or primates, suggests new research. Wolves and dogs refused to cooperate in an experiment when only the partner got a treat or they themselves received a lower quality reward. The sensitivity to inequity is not likely to be an effect of domestication, as assumed so far. It is rather a behavior inherited from a common ancestor.
06/07/2017 09:24 PM
Red and eastern wolves are probably not recent hybrids
A research team is calling into question a 2016 study that concluded eastern and red wolves are not distinct species, but rather recent hybrids of gray wolves and coyotes. In a new comment paper, the team argues the study's genomic data and analyses do not definitively prove recent hybridization -- but rather provide support for the genetic and evolutionary distinctiveness of red and eastern wolves.
06/06/2017 08:50 AM
Dogs help in breast carcinoma research
Cancer of the mammary glands in dogs is very similar to human breast carcinoma. For this reason, treatment methods from human medicine are often used for dogs. Conversely, scientific knowledge gained from canine mammary tumors may also be important to human medicine. Researchers were able to show how similar these tumors are in both dogs and humans.
06/05/2017 08:22 AM
Census shows which mammals survive in forests surrounded by sugarcane plantations
A census of medium and large mammals found in 22 forest remnants surrounded by sugarcane plantations in the state. They found approximately 90% of all the species of mammals expected for São Paulo State but in smaller forest fragments, the researchers recorded only 20 percent - 50 percent of the species expected to occur across the region. This means that up to 80 percent were locally extinct in some cases.
05/31/2017 12:33 PM
Outnumbered and on others' turf, misfits sometimes thrive
Evolutionary biologists have long assumed that when an individual of a species wanders into a different environment than it is adapted to, it will be at a competitive disadvantage compared to natives of the same species which are adapted to that environment. Studying fish in Canada, scientists found the opposite.
05/23/2017 07:37 AM
Wolves need space to roam to control expanding coyote populations
Wolves and other top predators need large ranges to be able to control smaller predators whose populations have expanded, according to a new study. The results were similar across three continents, showing that as top predators' ranges were cut back and fragmented, they were no longer able to control smaller predators.
05/11/2017 11:02 AM
New lyme disease forecast map targets rising tide of ticks
New research offers veterinarians a forecasting map that tells them which parts of the country are most at risk of Lyme disease infections in dogs, which could also help track and predict Lyme disease in people.
05/10/2017 04:48 PM
Pet dogs help kids feel less stressed
Pet dogs provide valuable social support for kids when they're stressed, according to a study by researchers, who were among the first to document stress-buffering effects of pets for children.
05/10/2017 01:07 PM
The family dog could help boost physical activity for kids with disabilities
The family dog could serve as a partner and ally in efforts to help children with disabilities incorporate more physical activity into their daily lives. A case study of one 10-year-old boy with cerebral palsy and his family's dog, found the intervention program led to a wide range of improvements for the child.
04/26/2017 11:30 AM
Novel antibiotic resistance gene in milk
A new antibiotic resistance gene has been found in bacteria from dairy cows. This gene confers resistance to all beta-lactam antibiotics including the last generation of cephalosporins used against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. A transfer to S. aureus which is likely according to the researchers would jeopardize the use of reserve antibiotics to treat human infections caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria in hospitals.
04/25/2017 11:48 AM
The evolution of dog breeds now mapped
When people migrate, Canis familiaris travels with them. Piecing together the details of those migrations has proved difficult because the clues are scattered across the genomes of hundreds of dog breeds. However, in a new report, researchers have used gene sequences from 161 modern breeds to assemble an evolutionary tree of dogs. The map of dog breeds, which is the largest to date, unearths new evidence that dogs traveled with humans across the Bering land bridge.
04/24/2017 01:22 PM
How dogs interact with others plays a role in decision-making
Dynamics between familiar dogs may influence their likelihood of learning from each other, new research shows. How dogs interact with others plays a big role in how they respond under conditions that require quick thinking.
04/20/2017 08:37 AM
Tarantula wolf spiders use their lateral eyes to calculate distance
A necessary part of any animal's sense of direction is a positioning system, allowing it to have an idea of the relation between where it is and where it wants to go; this is known as odometry. A new study shows that tarantula wolf spiders (Lycosa tarantula) use their posterior lateral eyes and anterior lateral eyes (they have a total of four pairs of eyes) to establish the distance they have traveled.
04/14/2017 09:58 AM
Sandy the dingo wins world's most interesting genome competition
A wild-born, pure Australian desert dingo called Sandy Maliki has taken out first place in the World's Most Interesting Genome competition. The UNSW-led proposal to have Sandy's DNA decoded beat four other finalists for the Pacific Biosciences SMRT Grant, which provides cutting-edge sequencing of the complete genome of a particularly fascinating plant or animal.
04/07/2017 08:18 AM
You spy with your little eye, dogs can adopt the perspective of humans
Humans are able to interpret the behavior of others by attributing mental states to them (and to themselves). By adopting the perspectives of other persons, they can assume their emotions, needs and intentions and react accordingly. In the animal kingdom, the ability to attribute mental states (Theory of Mind) is a highly contentious issue. Cognitive biologists could demonstrate with a new test procedure that dogs are not only able to identify whether a human has an eye on a food source and, therefore, knows where the food has been hidden. They can also apply this knowledge in order to correctly interpret cues by humans and find food they cannot see themselves.
04/06/2017 01:38 PM
Pet exposure may reduce allergy and obesity
If you need a reason to become a dog lover, how about their ability to help protect kids from allergies and obesity? A new study showed that babies from families with pets -- 70 per cent of which were dogs -- showed higher levels of two types of microbes associated with lower risks of allergic disease and obesity.
04/05/2017 12:10 PM
The redomestication of wolves
Gray wolves provide an important case study for understanding ecosystem effects when apex predators reoccupy their former ranges. These species often rely on anthropogenic food sources, which has broad implications for ecosystem restoration efforts and the possibility of human-wildlife conflict.
04/05/2017 08:07 AM
Raccoon dog represents a more acute risk than raccoon as vector for transmission of local parasites
The raccoon and the raccoon dog are two non-indigenous animal species that have become established in Europe in the past decades. Their increasing abundance has not only made them the most common carnivore species in some countries, but has also made them of interest to parasitologists as potential hosts for diseases. A team of researchers has now analyzed samples from both species in Austria. The raccoon dog, which is more closely related to the fox, was shown to serve as an additional host for local parasites. Like the fox, it represents a risk as a host of zoonotic parasites, such as the fox tapeworm or trichina worms, that are also of relevance for humans. The raccoons sampled, as they mainly originated from fur farms, were still largely pathogen-free.
03/23/2017 02:24 PM
Big-game jitters: Coyotes no match for wolves' hunting prowess
As wolf populations plummeted, the eastern coyote assumed the role of apex predator in forests along the Atlantic Coast. New research, however, shows that the eastern coyote is no match for the wolf. While the eastern coyote can bring down moose and other large prey, it prefers to attack smaller animals and to scavenge.
03/22/2017 09:37 AM
Minitablets help medicate picky cats
Of all pets, cats are often considered the most difficult ones to medicate. Very small minitablets with flavors or flavor coatings can help cat owners commit to the treatment and make cats more compliant to it, while making it easier to regulate dosage and administer medication flexibly.
03/16/2017 10:04 AM
Securing the future of cattle production in Africa
A world-first genetic study of cattle in Africa has revealed clues which could help secure the future of meat and dairy production on the continent. Scientists in England and East Africa carried out the study to help inform future breeding programs and stop indigenous cattle from dying out.
03/14/2017 07:27 AM
Breathtaking gene discovery in Dalmatian dogs
A novel gene associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in dogs has been uncovered by scientists. The new research on this fatal disease may also help us understand the mechanisms of respiratory diseases in humans.
03/07/2017 09:04 AM
Brain scans of service-dog trainees help sort weaker recruits from the pack
Brain scans of canine candidates to assist people with disabilities can help predict which dogs will fail a rigorous service training program, a study by finds. The study found that fMRI boosted the ability to identify dogs that would ultimately fail service-dog training to 67 percent, up from about 47 percent without the use of fMRI.
02/27/2017 11:51 AM
Dogs, toddlers show similarities in social intelligence
Researchers have found that dogs and 2-year-old children show similar patterns in social intelligence, much more so than human children and one of their closest relatives: chimpanzees. The research could help scientists better understand how humans evolved socially.
02/21/2017 10:07 AM
Significant epilepsy gene discovery in dogs
Research groups have described in collaboration a novel myoclonic epilepsy in dogs and identified its genetic cause. The study reveals a novel candidate gene for human myoclonic epilepsies, one of the most common forms of epilepsy. As a result, a genetic test was developed for veterinary diagnostics and breeding programs.
02/17/2017 03:10 PM
Egg-free surrogate chickens produced in bid to save rare breeds
Hens that do not produce their own chicks have been developed for use as surrogates to lay eggs from rare breeds. The advance -- using gene-editing techniques -- could help to boost breeding of endangered birds, as well as improving production of commercial hens, researchers say.
02/17/2017 12:27 AM
Novel socio-ecological approach helps identifying suitable wolf habitats in human-dominated landscapes
About one third of the Swiss landscape offers suitable wolf habitat. Nonetheless, there is only a small fraction thereof where the wolf is tolerated by local communities. Those regions – characterized by both favorable environmental conditions and a positive attitude towards the wolf – are identified as candidate regions for the successful short to medium-term wolf expansion, according to a study.
02/16/2017 09:39 AM
Gene therapy treats muscle-wasting disease in dogs
Dogs with an inherited muscle-wasting disorder that was treated with a single infusion of corrective gene therapy were indistinguishable from normal animals one year later. Puppies with this naturally occurring, fatal genetic mutation and babies with the same defective gene have several similar symptoms. Scientists found a way to safely replace the disease-causing MTM gene with a healthy gene throughout the entire musculature of affected dogs, and are now trying to determine the most effective dosage and timing.
02/15/2017 07:40 AM
Ebolaviruses need very few mutations to cause disease in new host species
Ebola is one of the world's most virulent diseases, though rodent species such as guinea pigs, rats and mice are not normally susceptible to it. However, through repeated infection of a host animal, Ebola virus strains can be generated that replicate and cause disease within new host rodent species.
02/13/2017 12:14 PM
Kiss of death: Mammals were the first animals to produce venom
The fossil of the Euchambersia therapsid (a pre-mammalian reptile), that lived in South Africa about 260 million years ago, is the first evidence of the oldest mammal to produce venom. CT scans of fossils of the pre-mammalian reptile shows anatomical features, designed for venom production.
01/31/2017 06:02 PM
Migrating birds may bring bird flu to North America
The highly pathogenic influenza strain currently infecting wild birds and domestic poultry in several European countries could be transmitted to birds in North America as migratory flyways of some European and North American wild bird species overlap in the northern reaches of Canada, an expert on influenza viruses and the spread of the virus in animals says.
01/31/2017 09:44 AM
Scat sniffer dogs tell researchers a lot about endangered lizards
Dogs can be trained to find almost anything, but one researcher had them detect something a little unusual -- the scat of endangered blunt-nosed leopard lizards. The dogs helped find out how important shrubs are in preserving lizard populations in the face of climate change.
01/27/2017 01:24 PM
A wolf's stowaways
Since the year 2000, the Eurasian grey wolf, Canis lupus lupus, has spread across Germany. For researchers, a good reason to have a closer look at the small “occupants” of this returnee and to ask the question whether the number and species of parasites change with an increasing wolf population. This was the case, because the number of parasite species per individual wolf increased as the wolf population expanded. Furthermore, cubs had a higher diversity of parasite species than older animals. The good news: wolf parasites do not pose a threat to human health.
01/27/2017 10:29 AM
Dogs share food with other dogs even in complex situations
Dogs also share their food, albeit mainly with four-legged friends rather than strangers. A new study has now confirmed this prosocial behavior among canines. The more complex methodology of the study, however, showed that the experimental set-up has an impact on the dogs' behavior and that even the mere presence of another dog makes the animals more generous.
01/26/2017 03:29 PM
Scientists develop new flu vaccines for dogs
Just like humans, dogs can catch the flu. Two new vaccines for canine influenza could curb the spread of flu in shelters and kennels and prevent the possible transmission of a dog flu virus to people.
01/24/2017 10:13 AM
How a dog's diet shapes its gut microbiome
Studies of the gut microbiome have gone to the dogs -- and pets around the world could benefit as a result. In a new paper, researchers report that the ratio of proteins and carbohydrates in a canine's daily diet have a significant influence on the balance of microbes in its gut. Researchers observed that dogs fed a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet had enriched microbial gene networks associated with weight loss in humans.