Jul 20, 2009 | 3
Six cloned Labrador retrievers are now using their olfactory prowess to help officials find drugs and explosives at airports and harbors across South Korea. The dogs—which all share the name “Toppy,” a combination of “tomorrow” and “puppy”—became the world’s first working cloned sniffer dogs when they reported for duty last Thursday, according to BBC News.
Thanks to a highly successful drug-detecting donor dog from Canada and 16 months of training, the new class of recruits, customs officials hope, will increase performance and decrease costs.
"They have a superior nature. They are active and excel in accepting the training," Kim Nak-seung, a trainer at the Customs Service-affiliated dog training center told MSNBC in April.
Apr 3, 2009 | 3
Ever wonder if that whiskery fellow walking his jowly Scottish terrier or that leggy, long-haired blonde jogging with her Afghan hound were just flukes? Science has stepped in to prove the conventional wisdom really does hold true: pooches do indeed resemble the people who own them, according to research presented this week at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference in Brighton.
To test the truism, researchers at Bath Spa University in the U.K. asked 70 people who didn't have dogs to match pictures of 41 canine keepers to one of three breeds of dogs: poodle, labrador or Staffordshire bull terrier. The guessers correctly matched dog breeds to owners 50 to 60 percent of the time, according to a report in the London Telegraph. (Random guesses would have only succeeded about a third of the time, noted the article.)
Dec 8, 2008 | 5
Scientists have confirmed what pet owners have always suspected: our pooches may pout when they sense another pup is getting favorable treatment.
Researchers at the University of Vienna in Austria report today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA that dogs may be like our human best buds: they get jealous if they feel we're treating another dog better.
Fredericke Range and her colleagues did a series of experiments with dogs that indicated they were happy to "shake hands" whether or not they were rewarded –at least for a while. But that changed if one pup got a treat and the other got nada.
For a long time, scientists believed a sense of equity was a purely human trait. Then in 2003 researchers discovered that capuchin monkeys complied with requests in return for cucumber slices, but got their backs up when they saw another monkey getting grapes, which they perceived as sweeter, better treats.
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