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Dogs have a positive impact on working groups, study finds
The presence of a dog can increase kind and helpful behaviour in work groups.
Groups with dogs are closer and more cooperative

A study by US researchers has found that the presence of a dog can increase kind and helpful behaviour in work groups.

Published in the journal Anthrozoos, the study adds to a growing body of research that suggests dogs have a positive effect on mood and social interaction.

“When people work in teams, the presence of a dog seems to act as a social lubricant,” explains lead author Steve Colarelli, speaking to Greater Good. “Dogs seem to be beneficial to the social interactions of teams.”

In the study, researchers from the University of Michigan gave small groups tasks to complete both with and without a dog present in the room.

In the first task, participants were asked to produce a 15-second advert and slogan for a fictional project - an exercise that requires cooperation. In the second task, the groups played a modified version of the prisoner’s dilemma game, in which players have to decide whether to cooperate with one another or look after themselves.

After the groups completed the tasks, participants reported on how satisfied they felt with the group and how much they tested group members.  Independent raters also analysed video footage of the tasks, looking out for signs of cooperation, bonding and expressions of vulnerability that show trust.

The researchers found that groups with dogs displayed more verbal and physical signs of closeness than groups without a dog, regardless of the task. The independent raters observed more signs of cooperation during the first task and group members said they trusted each other more during task two if there was a dog in the room.

Furthermore, when the independent raters watched the task videos without any sound, they noticed more good feelings in groups with a dog in the room, than in groups without a dog.

While the dogs did not seem to affect the participants’ performance during the tasks, the authors believe that the observed social and emotional benefits could have a positive impact on groups over time.

“In a situation where people are working together for a long period of time, and how well the team gets along—do they speak together, have rapport, act cooperatively, help one another—could influence the outcome of the team, then I suspect a dog would have a positive impact,” Colarelli concludes. 

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Webinar to focus on equine worm control

News Story 1
 Vets, veterinary nurses and RAMAs are being invited to join a free CPD webinar on late winter and early spring equine worm control.

Hosted by Zoetis vet Dr Wendy Talbot, the webinar aims to help prescribers understand which parasites are of most concern at this time of year. It will also cover how to assess parasite risk, selecting a suitable wormer and spring wormer plans, concluding with a Q&A session.

The webinar takes place on Thursday, 18 March at 10 am and will be repeated at 7 pm for those unable to listen during the day. To book the 10 am webinar, click here, and to register for the 7 pm webinar, click here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Avian influenza confirmed in Lancashire

A case of highly pathogenic (HPAI H5N8) avian influenza has been confirmed in two captive peregrine falcons on a non-commercial, non-poultry premises near Skelmersdale, West Lancashire.

Following a risk assessment, APHA has declared that no disease control zones have been put in place surrounding this non-commercial, non-poultry premises.

Eighteen cases of HPAI H5N8 have now been identified in poultry and other captive birds in England. A housing order for poultry and captive birds introduced by Defra to control the spread of the disease expired on 31 March, although bird keepers in England are still required by law to comply with biosecurity measures.

For more information, please click here.