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Stories by Julie Hecht

Canine Science This Summer Near You

Think dogs get the summer off from school? Think again! Summer brings numerous conferences, both in the States and abroad, featuring canine science from a variety of angles like behavior, cognition, welfare and the dog-human relationship.The conferences feature new research on topics like: oxytocin receptors and affiliative behavior in dogs canine post-traumatic stress disorder in military working dogs why adult dogs play the Black Dog Syndrome how much working dogs watch their handlers’ faces the prevalence of fearful and anxious behaviors of dogs in the United States the effect of pet therapy on language development in preschoolers cognitive predictors of assistance-dog success behavior rehabilitation of abused pets the relationship between prenatal experiences and postnatal behavior (a topic I previously discussed here) Find all conference details in my guest post, Upcoming Canine Science Conferences, on Dr...

June 22, 2013 — Julie Hecht

How to make people eat dog food

I have to assume John Bohannon woke up one morning and thought, “What does dog food taste like?” That, or he might have just been out of food and people were coming over.Either way, the outcome was the same...

June 8, 2013 — Julie Hecht

Do Dogs Understand Our Words? The Dogs Weigh In

“This is not your food! Don’t even think about eating it. This … is … not … your … food.” What do our words mean to dogs? Not that I’m about to stop speaking to dogs anytime soon, but I do wonder what my daily utterances signify to Millie, Piper, Upton and Finnegan, the dogs I converse with on a regular basis...

May 31, 2013 — Julie Hecht

You re invited to a canine science conference

If you read Dog Spies, this conference is for you.SPARCS is a unique venture organized by Prescott Breeden and Patti Howard of The Pawsitive Packleader, Seattle Dog Training.

May 26, 2013 — Julie Hecht

Dogs and Cats in the Home: Happiness for All?

‘Dogs and Cats in the Home: Happiness for All?’ was a Finalist in the inaugural ScienceSeeker Awards* in the category Best Post About Peer-reviewed Research (winners and finalists listed here)...

May 19, 2013 — Julie Hecht

The data is in: Adopt this dog

Erica Feuerbacher smiles when she talks, and why shouldn’t she? As a doctoral candidate at the University of Florida with the Canine Cognition and Behavior Lab, she spends a lot of time with dogs (or at least dogs in the form of data)...

May 15, 2013 — Julie Hecht

6 things dogs have in common with Susan Sontag

Since I’m still working out the difference between “procrastination” and “following leads,” I’ll tell you about a recent encounter with Susan Sontag and dogs.As a frequenter of Brain Pickings, an “online discovery engine.....

April 30, 2013 — Julie Hecht

Are Dogs Funnier than Cats?

Fake laughter is the worst. When you notice it, fake laughter is a reminder that something, socially, is off.Contrast that with the way you laugh when you are with your dog.* It’s spontaneous, raw and honest...

April 29, 2013 — Julie Hecht

Dogs in pantyhose

Until recently, the only association I made between dogs and pantyhose would have involved an unfortunate trip to the vet. Of the inanimate objects pulled from pets’ gastrointestinal tracts -- from drywall and hearing aids to corn cobs and toy cars -- pantyhose, and their cousins, socks and underwear, top the list.But last week, dogs and pantyhose found themselves a new union...

April 11, 2013 — Julie Hecht

Four days left to play with your dog, for science

I was probably 12 years old (fine, 13) the last time I played with Barbies. School was closed for a snow day, and one of my best friends trudged over to my house for mac and cheese and Barbies...

March 28, 2013 — Julie Hecht

How Do You Play with Your Dog?

Millions of people around the world come home to four legs and a wagging tail, and many spend some of their time together playing. While dog-dog play has been studied extensively, dog-person play, which takes on a different form and appears to have different rules, has not attracted nearly as much scholarly attention...

December 12, 2012 — Julie Hecht
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Scientific American Health & Medicine

Scientific American Health & Medicine