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‘Dogs alter faces when humans are looking’ - study
While dogs made far more facial expressions when humans were watching, being offered food did not produce the same effect.
Research suggests dogs use facial expressions to communicate 

Dogs produce more facial expressions when humans are looking, according to new research.

Scientists from the University of Portsmouth’s Dog Cognition Centre, say they have found the first clear evidence that dogs alter their faces in response to human attention.

Most mammals use facial expressions but it has long been assumed that this is involuntary in animals - dependent on the individual’s emotional state, and not used in response to an audience.

Lead author Dr Juliane Kaminski said it is possible that dogs’ facial expressions have changed as a result of domestication.

Researchers observed 24 family dogs of various breeds, aged one to 12. They were kept on a lead about a metre away from a person, who displayed a range of behaviours, such as facing the dog, being distracted, and facing away from the dog.

The dogs’ facial expressions were monitored using DogFACS, an anatomically-based coding system that captures movements from the canine face muscles. Brow raising, which makes the eyes look bigger (otherwise known as ‘puppy dog eyes’), was the most commonly used expression in the study.

Researchers found that while dogs made far more facial expressions when humans were watching, being offered food did not produce the same effect, suggesting dogs use facial expressions to communicate, not just because they are excited. This is the first time scientists have systematically examined dog facial expressions that are used to communicate with humans.

The team say it is not yet possible to determine if dogs actually have an understanding of human perspective, or whether this is a hardwired or learned response.

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Bristol uni celebrates 75 years of teaching vets

News Story 1
 The University of Bristol's veterinary school is celebrating 75 years of educating veterinary students.

Since the first group of students were admitted in October 1949, the school has seen more than 5,000 veterinary students graduate.

Professor Jeremy Tavare, pro vice-chancellor and executive dean for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, said: "I'm delighted to be celebrating Bristol Veterinary School's 75 years.

"Its excellence in teaching and research has resulted in greater understanding and some real-world changes benefiting the health and welfare of both animals and humans, which is testament to the school's remarkable staff, students and graduates." 

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News Shorts
RCVS HQ to temporarily relocate

The headquarters of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is to move temporarily, ahead of its permanent relocation later in the year.

From Monday, 26 February 2024, RCVS' temporary headquarters will be at 2 Waterhouse Square, Holborn, London. This is within walking distance of its current rented offices at The Cursitor, Chancery Lane.

RCVS have been based at The Cursitor since February 2022, following the sale of its Westminster premises the previous March.

However, unforeseen circumstances relating to workspace rental company WeWork filing for bankruptcy means The Cursitor will no longer operate as a WeWork space. The new temporary location is still owned by WeWork.

RCVS anticipates that it will move into its permanent location at Hardwick Street, Clerkenwell, later on in the year.