dogs

Not yet. At four he. All said four.

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Seventy-four percent of dog owners believe that their dogs experience guilt. […]

There is plenty of evidence for what scientists refer to as primary emotions – happiness and fear, for example – in animals. But empirical evidence for secondary emotions like jealousy, pride, and guilt, is extremely rare in the animal cognition literature. The argument usually given for this lack of evidence is that such secondary emotions seem to require a level of cognitive sophistication, particularly when it comes to self-awareness or self-consciousness, that may not exist in non-human animals.

{ Scientific American | Continue reading }

painting { Pan Deng }

You think you balling because you got a block, he think he balling because he got a block

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{ Maddie the Coonhound | Thanks Glenn }

And Edy Boardman was rocking the chubby baby to and fro in the pushcar

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{ Carli Davidson }

There’s only love, and there ain’t no replacement

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Human interactions often provide people with considerable social support, but can pets also fulfill one’s social needs? Although there is correlational evidence that pets may help individuals facing significant life stressors, little is known about the well-being benefits of pets for everyday people.

Study 1 found in a community sample that pet owners fared better on several well-being (e.g., greater self-esteem, more exercise) and individual-difference (e.g., greater conscientiousness, less fearful attachment) measures.

Study 2 assessed a different community sample and found that owners enjoyed better well-being when their pets fulfilled social needs better, and the support that pets provided complemented rather than competed with human sources.

Finally, Study 3 brought pet owners into the laboratory and experimentally demonstrated the ability of pets to stave off negativity caused by social rejection.

In summary, pets can serve as important sources of social support, providing many positive psychological and physical benefits for their owners.

{ Journal of Personality and Social Psychology | PDF }

photo { Andre Kertesz, Study of People and Shadows, 1928 | more photos }

‘Any opinion different than yours is not an attempt to control you.’ –Laurie Percival

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Previous studies have shown that dogs are capable of a remarkable range of human-like behaviours; they have been shown to perform as well or even better than chimpanzees at responding to human body language, verbal commands and attention states.

This has led to debate as to whether dogs are aware of people’s behaviour and can predict how a person will act as a result of it, or whether they are simply responding to the presence or absence of certain stimuli.

Publishing in the journal Learning & Behaviour, Udell and colleagues carried out two experiments to test the ability of pet dogs, rescue shelter dogs and wolves, to successfully beg for food from an attentive individual, versus an inattentive individual. (…)

In the first experiment, two people simultaneously offered food to the subject dog or wolf. One person was always attentive, giving the animal eye contact, while the other was unable to see the animal as they either had a camera or book obscuring their eyes, their back turned or a bucket over their head. (…)

The results showed, for the first time, that wolves as well as domestic dogs tended to beg for food from an attentive individual rather someone who was not paying attention. (…)

“The logical conclusion of the study must be that both genetics and the environment can play a role in the dogs’ behaviour, but the fundamental aspect seems to be genetic with only fine tuning being done by the dogs’ experience in the human environment,” he added.

{ Cosmos | Continue reading }

‘Perhaps there is only one major sin: impatience.’ –Kafka

{ High-speed video shows that canines don’t simply scoop up water, they toss it into their mouths just like cats. | Science News | full story

You grew up riding the subways, running with people

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{ Elliott Erwitt | more }

related:

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{ 1 | 2. unsourced }

We know surprisingly little about our own personalities, attitudes and even self-esteem. How can we live with that?

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A new study finds that when a ball appears to magically change size in front of their eyes, female dogs notice but males don’t. The researchers aren’t sure what’s behind the disparity, but experts say the finding supports the idea that—in some situations—male dogs trust their noses, whereas females trust their eyes.

{ Science magazine | Continue reading }

photos { Eylül Aslan }

I don’t have any immediate thoughts at the moment

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{ Christopher Williams, 3 White (DG’s Mr. Postman) Fourth Race, Phoenix Greyhound Park, Phoenix, Arizona, August 22, 1994 }

Fab Five Freddie told me everybody’s high

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If you’re looking for the latest in home exercise equipment, you may want to consider a dog.

Several studies now show that dogs can be powerful motivators to get people moving. Not only are dog owners more likely to take regular walks, but new research shows that dog walkers are more active over all than people who don’t have dogs.

One study even found that older people are more likely to take regular walks if the walking companion is canine rather than human.

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

photo { Brandon Mitchell }

The only way to have a friend is to be one

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{ Our results show that dog and cat owners use these sites quite differently. While dog owners focus on their relationship with their pets and looking for advice, cat owners tend to use the site more to build community. Both results show that these pet social networks are already being used to help support the human–animal bond online. | First Monday | full story }

No more singing all the dogs in his sengaggeng

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Shanghai is to extend the one-child policy to man’s best friend after tens of thousands of people complained of being bitten last year – and to prevent dog mess spoiling the country’s showcase business city.

The rule has already been imposed in several other Chinese cities, but Shanghai’s size – it has a population of more than 20 million – has made the presence of thousands of dogs more problematic. Dogs bigger than 3ft will be banned from the centre of the city and so-called “attack dogs”, including bulldogs, will be banned completely.

The ruling is the latest instance of uneasy relationships between man’s best friend and the Chinese authorities. During the Communist era of Mao Zedong, pets were frowned upon as a middle-class affectation and government opponents were condemned as capitalist running dogs. But China’s growing openness, combined with its rising affluence, means that pets are making a comeback, and there are around 100 million pet dogs in China. However, from May, a one-dog policy will be introduced in Shanghai and more than 600,000 unlicensed dogs will be declared illegal – and killed because of fears of rabies.

{ The Independent | Continue reading }

photo { Alvaro Sanchez-Montañes }

related { The special bond that often forms between people and both domesticated and wild animals may be, paradoxically, part of what makes us human. | Seed | full story }