Your hit of last week’s dogs and cats research
, 2022-06-19 15:30:00,
Dogs think of their toys using multiple senses
It’s every dog owner’s dream to know exactly what’s going on in their fur baby’s mind. Well, a new study published in the journal Animal Cognition has found that when dogs are thinking about an object – like their favourite toys – they imagine its different sensory features, such as the way it looks or smells.
“If we can understand which senses dogs use while searching for a toy, this may reveal how they think about it,” explains co-lead author Shany Dror, from the Department of Ethology in Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary.
“When dogs use olfaction or sight while searching for a toy, this indicates that they know how that toy smells or looks like.”
In a previous study, the team had found that a few uniquely gifted dogs can learn the names of objects, so they investigated how four Gifted Word Learner dogs searched for and recognised a target toy (amongst four other toys), both when the lights were on and off.
They found that though the dogs’ success rate didn’t differ in the dark or light, their search behaviour did: dogs relied mostly on vision and switched to other senses (including their sense of smell) when searching in the dark.
This reveals that, when dogs play with a toy, they pay attention to its different features and register the information using multiple senses.
Genetic variants linked to disease in pedigree cats
The largest ever DNA-based study of domestic cats has found 13 genetic mutations associated with disease in cats are present in more pedigree breeds than was previously thought.
Researchers genotyped over 11,000 domestic cats (including 90…
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