Breeding Alters Dog Brains

Sabah Bari ’24 Over centuries, dogs have been bred to be domesticated and to be specialized in specific jobs. Stony Brook researchers have discovered that the dog’s brain structure is being altered through breeding, which allows the dogs to perform specific tasks. Selective breeding is the term used to describe how humans choose the parents of the dogs to create offspring with desirable traits. These … Continue reading Breeding Alters Dog Brains

Neuroanatomical Variation in Dogs

Panayiota Siskos ’23 The selective breeding of dogs by humans has led to variation in the brain across different breeds. Selectively breeding dogs for traits and abilities has been a recent occurrence  in evolution, and genetic research shows behavioral variation is heritable. Behavioral specializations depend on neural specializations, and strong selection pressure exhibits that brain differences between dog breeds correlate with differences in behavior. Selection … Continue reading Neuroanatomical Variation in Dogs

Breeding can Change Dogs’ Brains

Ayesha Azeem ‘23 For centuries, humans have been breeding domestic dogs with the intention of producing specific skill sets needed to improve humans’ lives. For example, purpose-bred dogs can be used for hunting or as service dogs that guide people with disabilities. Dog breeding has been highly controversial lately, since dogs are now seen more as companions rather than workers. In a new study conducted … Continue reading Breeding can Change Dogs’ Brains

How Do We Recognize Dog Emotions?

Ayesha Azeem ‘23 We humans are very complex creatures. When we spend a lot of time in close association with a species, we tend to treat them as if they are humans as well, and we can decipher their emotions clearly. With the expression of emotions, we can communicate our motivations, responses and needs to others. Recognizing animals’ emotions can be beneficial, as it may … Continue reading How Do We Recognize Dog Emotions?

Cardiovascular Health Benefits to Dog Ownership

Aditi Kaveti ‘23 Loneliness and depression — in addition to a lack of physical activity — can increase the risks associated with health complications and premature death. Previous studies have demonstrated the links dog ownership has with increased physical activity, reduced social isolation, and lower blood pressure. A new study conducted by Professor Tove Fall at Uppsala University in Sweden suggested that dog ownership could … Continue reading Cardiovascular Health Benefits to Dog Ownership

Figure 1. Finnish researchers recently explored the link between oxytocin and dogs’ emotional response to human facial expressions.

The Role of Oxytocin in Dogs’ Emotional Responses to Human Facial Expressions

By Meenu Johnkutty ‘21 Dogs are our friendly companions, our trusted partners in crime, and our constant cuddle buddies. Past studies have found that our facial expressions significantly affect dogs’ emotional responses, and that the “affection hormone” oxytocin is crucial in dogs’ regulation of social behavior and emotions. In a recent study, Finnish researchers at the University of Helsinki chose to research the effects of … Continue reading The Role of Oxytocin in Dogs’ Emotional Responses to Human Facial Expressions

The Factors That Impact a Dog’s Attention Span

by Julia Newman (’19) Researchers at the University of Padua in Italy conducted a study on attention spans in dogs and ended up discovering that both the level of training and sex of the dog impact this length of time. A total of sixty-four dogs of various levels of training were put through multiple tests in order to record data on the length of their … Continue reading The Factors That Impact a Dog’s Attention Span

The Origin of Dogs Traces Back to Two Separate Locations

by Jenna Mallon (’18) Although it is a common fact that domestic dogs originated from wolves, there are still speculations concerning the geographical and temporal origins of man’s best friend. There are disagreements over when and where dogs were domesticated. Despite evidence that points to the Paleolithic Era, some archeologists argue that dogs could have been independently domesticated in two separate regions: Eastern and Western … Continue reading The Origin of Dogs Traces Back to Two Separate Locations