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ScienceDaily: Dog News 

Dog-human cooperation is based on social skills of wolves, scientists show

Dogs are 'man's best friend.' The origins of this dog-human relationship were subject of a study by behavioral scientists. They showed that the ancestors of dogs, the wolves, are at least as attentive to members of their species and to humans as dogs are. This social skill did not emerge during domestication, as has been suggested previously, but was already present in wolves.

Helicopter parenting better for pets than for kids

Helicopter parenting may not be the best strategy for raising independent kids. But a healthy measure of overprotectiveness could actually be advantageous when raising dogs and cats, according to a new study that compares 'dog people' to 'cat people' and correlates neuroticism with better pet care.

Clinical trial shows benefits of animal-assisted therapy in adult cancer patients undergoing complex cancer treatment with chemotherapy, radiation therapy

Therapy dogs may improve the emotional well-being of some cancer patients, according to results of a clinical study, the first to document the benefits of animal-assisted therapy in adult cancer patients. "Thanks to this rigorously designed study, we now have strong evidence that pet therapy is an effective tool to help cancer patients get through challenging treatments," said one researcher.

Study of ancient dogs in the Americas yields insights into human, dog migration

A new study suggests that dogs may have first successfully migrated to the Americas only about 10,000 years ago, thousands of years after the first human migrants crossed a land bridge from Siberia to North America.

Ouch! When teeth and hands connect, bites may be beastly

Hand injuries are frequently caused by human and animal bites, prompting as many as 330,000 emergency department visits in the United States each year. A literature review outlines the potential complications of human and animal bites to the hand, the importance of early injury assessment, and the use of antibiotic and other treatment methods to avoid infection, permanent disability, and amputatio

Discovery of mutated gene in dogs could help treat blindness

A MERTK gene defect responsible for a recently identified form of progressive retinal atrophy in Swedish vallhund dogs has been found by an international team of scientists. This discovery opens the door to the development of therapies for diseases that cause blindness both in dogs and humans.

Children with autism who live with pets are more assertive

Dogs and other pets play an important role in individuals' social lives, and they can act as catalysts for social interaction, previous research has shown. Although much media attention has focused on how dogs can improve the social skills of children with autism, a researcher recently found that children with autism have stronger social skills when any kind of pet lived in the home.

Europe shows that humans and large predators can share the same landscape

The recovery of large carnivores in Europe is a great success for nature conservation. At one third of mainland Europe, at least one species of large carnivore is present, according to a new article. It is an excellent example that humans and carnivores can share the same landscape, say researchers.

In one aspect of vision, computers catch up to primate brain

For decades, neuroscientists have been trying to design computer networks that can mimic visual skills such as recognizing objects, which the human brain does very accurately and quickly. Until now, no computer model has been able to match the primate brain at visual object recognition during a brief glance. Now neuroscientists have found that one of the latest generation of 'deep neural networks'

A lot or a little? Wolves discriminate quantities better than dogs

Being able to mentally consider quantities makes sense for any social species. Scientists studied how well dogs can discriminate between different quantities and discovered that wolves perform better than dogs at such tasks. Possibly dogs lost this skill, or a predisposition for it, during domestication.

The bloody truth: How blood donations can save animals' lives

Blood transfusions are of importance not only in human medicine. Also animals do need blood donations. The University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna operates a blood bank for dogs for more than a decade. But also cats can donate blood for acute emergencies. Horses need blood donations especially during operations that involve high blood loss. Sheep, goats and other ruminants require transfusions w

Lethal control of wolves backfires on livestock

Researchers have found that it is counter-productive to kill wolves to keep them from preying on livestock. Shooting and trapping lead to more dead sheep and cattle the following year, not fewer. Wildlife biologists say that, for each wolf killed, the odds of more livestock depredations increase significantly.

Cancer Prevalent in Pets but Treatable, Says Veterinarian

Common cancers in humans are also common cancers in pets. A veterinarian lays out the warning signs that could indicate your dog or cat has cancer.

Fear and caring are what's at the core of divisive wolf debate

To hunt or not hunt: Wolves can't be quantified as simply as men vs. women, hunters vs. anti-hunters, Democrats vs. Republicans or city vs. rural.

Insects play important role in dealing with garbage on NYC streets

In the city that never sleeps, it's easy to overlook the insects underfoot. But that doesn't mean they're not working hard. A new study shows that insects and other arthropods play a significant role in disposing of garbage on the streets of Manhattan.

Dogs hear our words and how we say them

When people hear another person talking to them, they respond not only to what is being said -- those consonants and vowels strung together into words and sentences -- but also to other features of that speech -- the emotional tone and the speaker's gender, for instance. Now, a report provides some of the first evidence of how dogs also differentiate and process those various components of human s

Fluid dynamics explain what happens when dogs drink water

If you've ever watched a dog drink water, you know that it can be a sloshy, spilly, splashy affair -- in other words, adorable. Behind all of the happy, wet messes, however, lies the mechanical logic of carnivorous compensation -- dogs splash when they drink because they have the cheeks of a predatory quadruped. By studying the drinking habits of various dog breeds and sizes, researchers have rece

Many animals steal defenses from bacteria: Microbe toxin genes have jumped to ticks, mites and other animals

Bacteria compete for resources in the environment by injecting deadly toxins into their rivals. Researcher have now discovered that many animals steal toxins from bacteria to fight unwanted microbes growing on them. Genes for these toxins have jumped from bacterial to animals. These genes are now permanently incorporated into the genomes of these animals. Deer ticks, which can carry Lyme disease,

Mimics do not substitute for the 'real thing' for bomb-sniffing dogs

Canines trained on pseudo-explosives could not reliably identify the genuine article (and vice versa). When it comes to teaching dogs how to sniff out explosives, there’s nothing quite like the real thing to make sure they’re trained right.

People ate mammoth; Dogs got reindeer

Biogeologists have shown how Gravettian people shared their food 30,000 years ago. Around 30,000 years ago Predmosti was inhabited by people of the pan-European Gravettian culture, who used the bones of more than 1000 mammoths to build their settlement and to ivory sculptures. Did prehistoric people collect this precious raw material from carcasses -- easy to spot on the big cold steppe -- or were

Attitudes about knowledge, power drive Michigan's wolf debate

With both wolf proposals shot down by Michigan voters on election day, the debate over managing and hunting wolves is far from over. A new study identifies the themes shaping the issue and offers some potential solutions as the debate moves forward.

Cat genome reveals clues to domestication

Cats and humans have shared the same households for at least 9,000 years, but we still know very little about how our feline friends became domesticated. An analysis of the cat genome reveals some surprising clues.

Odor that smells like blood: Single component powerful trigger for large carnivores

People find the smell of blood unpleasant, but for predatory animals it means food. When behavioral researchers wanted to find out which substances of blood trigger behavioral reactions, they got some unexpected results.

Mary Rose dog was a he, not a she

The smallest member of the Mary Rose crew -- the ship’s dog -- was a he, and not a she as was previously believed, experts say. The skeleton of the dog lacked a baculum, or penis bone, and so was thought for many years to be that of a female dog. The dog, named "Hatch" by researchers, was discovered in 1981 during the underwater excavation of the ship, which sank defending Portsmouth from a French

New natural supplement relieves canine arthritis

Arthritis pain in dogs can be relieved, with no side effects, by a new product based on medicinal plants and dietary supplements. Two formulas were developed. The first formula, composed of curcumin, devil's claw, black current, Indian frankincense (Salai), willow bark, pineapple bromelaine and camomile, was developed to treat arthritis-induced inflammation. The second included the same ingredient

How viruses expand their host range: Insights from parvoviruses in domestic, wild carnivores

Virus multiplication continually generates new variants at a rate that is much faster than their hosts. One consequence of their higher mutation rate is that many viruses can rapidly adapt to new hosts. A new study reports on the systematic analysis of the host range of canine parvovirus (CPV) and reveals different factors that determine which carnivores the virus can infect.

For tiger populations, a new threat

Along with the pressures of habitat loss, poaching and depletion of prey species, a new threat to tiger populations in the wild has surfaced in the form of disease, specifically, canine distemper virus (CDV). According to a new study, CDV has the potential to be a significant driver in pushing the animals toward extinction.

Fish integration: Nature adores a hybrid

After a few generations of breeding and natural selection, hybrid fish are genetically as robust as their purely wild forefathers, new research shows. The team transplanted combinations of wild, domesticated and hybridized populations of Algonquin Park vbrook trout to new environments. The researchers then compared survival rates and physical characteristics to determine whether hybridization affe

Researchers treat canine cancer, likely to advance human health

A research team is working to better understand cancer in dogs, and the work also could advance knowledge of human cancer. Their investigation began with only a tiny blood platelet, but quickly they discovered opportunities for growth and expanding the breadth of the research. "As veterinarians, we are focused on treating cancer in dogs and we get the bonus of also helping advance treatment of hum

New tech aims to improve communication between dogs, humans

A suite of technologies that can be used to enhance communication between dogs and humans has been developed by researchers who say that it has applications in everything from search and rescue to service dogs to training our pets.


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