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Dogs can copy each other's expressions, study finds
Dogs who knew each other well tended to mimic each other most.
Finding suggests dogs may be capable of empathy

Dogs can mimic each others expressions, a study by the University of Pisa has found.

Published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, the results suggest that dogs may be capable of empathy.

The ability to convey emotion is a basic human form of empathy that makes individuals able to experience the emotions of others.

In human and non-human primates, this can be linked to facial mimicry - an automatic and fast response (less than a second) in which individuals mimic others' expressions.

In the study, the researchers filmed interactions between 23 male and 26 female dogs, ranging in age from just three months to six years.

Afterwards, they analysed the video and found that the dogs engaged in two types of mimicry during play - bowing using just their front legs, and opening their mouths in a non-threatening way.

They found that dogs who knew each other well tended to mimic each other most, while those that did not know each other mimicked the least.

"Our results demonstrate the presence of rapid mimicry in dogs, the involvement of mimicry in sharing playful motivation and the social modulation of the phenomenon," the researchers say.  

"All these findings concur in supporting the idea that a possible linkage between rapid mimicry and emotional contagion (a building-block of empathy) exists in dogs."


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Webinar to explore the meaning of veterinary leadership

News Story 1
 The WSAVA has announced a free webinar exploring the meaning of veterinary leadership in the 21st century.

Taking place at noon on Tuesday, October 19, the webinar will explore the role of veterinary professionals in leading on animal welfare, the leadership competencies required of all veterinary professionals, and the effects of leadership style on teams.

The webinar, which ends with a Q&A session, will be moderated be WSAVA President Dr Siraya Chunekamrai and led by Veterinary Management Group President Richard Casey. For more information and to access the event, click here

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News Shorts
Horiba announces veterinary haematology webinar

Horiba Medical has announced a free webinar providing practical insight on best practice in veterinary haematology. Entitled 'In practice haematology - Beyond the pale!' the webinar will be presented by Ronnie Barron from the University of Glasgow Veterinary School.

Ronnie's presentation, which will conclude with a Q&A session, will look at QC and artefacts of sample quality and review the effects of different pathologies. Using images, photomicrographs and video links, he will also explain the techniques and equipment needed to complement analytical automation to confirm results quality.

The webinar takes place on Thursday, October 28 (7.30-9pm). For more details and to register, click here.