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Science Daily: Dog News

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Introducing a protocol for using robotic pets in memory care

Researchers have developed a protocol for using robotic pets with older adults with dementia. The protocol uses a low-cost robotic pet, establishes ideal session lengths, and identifies common participant responses to the 'pets' to aid in future research. View the source article

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New links found between dogs' smell and vision

Researchers have provided the first documentation that dogs' sense of smell is integrated with their vision and other unique parts of the brain, shedding new light on how dogs experience and navigate the world. View the source article

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Bring back the wolves -- but not as heroes or villains

In a new finding that goes against current conservation paradigms, re-introducing wolves and other predators to our landscapes does not miraculously reduce deer populations, restore degraded ecosystems or significantly threaten livestock, according to a new study. View the source article

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Ice Age wolf DNA reveals dogs trace ancestry to two separate wolf populations

An international group of geneticists and archaeologists have found that the ancestry of dogs can be traced to at least two populations of ancient wolves. The work moves us a step closer to uncovering the mystery of where dogs underwent domestication, one of the biggest unanswered questions about human prehistory. View the source article

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Top predators could 'trap' themselves trying to adapt to climate change

Over a 30-year period, African wild dogs shifted their average birthing dates later by 22 days, an adaptation that allowed them to match the birth of new litters with the coolest temperatures in early winter. But as a result of this significant shift, fewer pups survived their most vulnerable period because temperatures during their critical post-birth 'denning period' increased over the same time period, threatening the population of this already endangered species. It is the first study to sho

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Urgent action needed on English Bulldog breeding, experts say

English Bulldogs must be bred with more moderate physical features, experts say, as a new study reports that the breed is significantly less healthy than other dog breeds. English Bulldogs are at increased risk of breathing, eye, and skin conditions due to their extreme physical features, including shortened muzzles, folded skin, and a squat body, reports a recent article. View the source article

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A large predator from the Pyrenees

A fossilized lower jaw has led an international team of palaeontologists to discover a new species of predator that once lived in Europe. These large predators belong to a group of carnivores colloquially known as 'bear dogs'. They could weigh around 320 kilograms, appeared 36 million years ago before becoming extinct around 7.5 million years ago. View the source article

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'Good' bacteria to tackle depression

Intestinal flora plays an important role in health -- including mental health. Researchers have shown that probiotics can support the effect of antidepressants and help to alleviate depression. View the source article

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Scent dogs detect coronavirus reliably from skin swabs

A recent study confirmed that scent detection dogs can be taught to identify individuals with a coronavirus infection from skin swabs. In the experimental set-up at Finland's Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport, the accuracy of the dogs in identifying the samples was 92 percent. View the source article

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Quantifying cognitive decline in dogs could help humans with Alzheimer's disease

Researchers have found that a suite of complimentary tests can quantify changes in dogs suspected of suffering from cognitive decline. The approach could not only aid owners in managing their elderly canine's care, but could also serve as a model for evaluating cognitive decline progression in -- and treatments for -- humans with Alzheimer's disease. View the source article

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Cortisol in shelter dog hair shows signs of stress

Despite the good care, a shelter can be a stressful environment for dogs. Researchers investigated if the amount of the hormone cortisol in hair indicates the levels of stress that dogs experience before, during and after their stay in the shelter. View the source article

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