Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
 
 
Send Cancel

Dogs avoid people who snub their owners
Dachshund and owner
The study suggests that dogs can read social situations and avoid those who act negatively towards their owners.
Social eavesdropping may not be an ability unique to primates

It's well known that dogs are highly intelligent beings that can respond to commands, sniff-out criminal evidence and even diagnose medical conditions. But now, new research has shown that they might even be able understand simple interactions between people.

In a recent experiment, Japanese researchers found that dogs tended to avoid people if they acted negatively towards their owners. This suggests that dogs are able to read social situations - an ability known as 'social eavesdropping'.

The experiment was designed to see if dogs can evaluate humans interacting with one another over an object.

The results revealed that dogs avoided taking food from a person who behaved negatively towards their owner, which in this case meant ignoring them.

In the experiment, the dog's owner tried to open a container to get a junk object that was inside, then requested help from an actor sitting next to him, while the dog watched the interaction.

In the helper condition, the actor held the container stable to help the owner open it.  In the non-helper condition, the actor turned away and refused to help. A neutral person sat on the other side of the owner throughout these interactions.

After the instruction, both the actor and the neutral person offered a piece of food to the dog. The study found that dogs chose food randomly in the helper and control conditions, but were biased against the actor in the non-helper conditions.

The scientists say that the dogs' avoidance of someone who behaved negatively towards the owner suggests that social eavesdropping may be shared with a non-primate species.

The study, Dogs avoid people who behave negatively to their owner: third-party affective evaluation, was published in Animal Behaviour.

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Huge spike in ‘designer’ dogs going into rescue

News Story 1
 The RSPCA has reported a huge spike in the number of ‘designer’ dogs arriving into its care.

Figures published by the charity show there has been a 517 per cent increase in the number of French bulldogs arriving into its kennels. During that time, the charity has also seen an increase in dachshunds, chihuahuas, and crossbreeds.

RSPCA dog welfare expert Lisa Hens said: “We know that the breeds of dog coming into our care often reflect the trends in dog ownership in the wider world and, at the moment, it doesn’t get more trendy than ‘designer’ dogs like French bulldogs and Dachshunds."

 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Withdrawal period increased for Closamectin pour-on

The withdrawal period for Closamectin pour-on solution for cattle has been increased from 28 days to 58 for meat and offal.

Closamectin treats roundworms, late immature to adult fluke (from seven weeks), mange mites and lice.

Norbrook Laboratories Ltd said the change would take effect immediately. Customers are being offered practical support to inform end users.

The change meets industry requirements to reduce the amount of residue going into food and the environment. It has been approved by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate and an updated summary of product characteristics will be available on the website.