Euro Puppy's Blog

More Evidence That Dogs Are Smarter Than Cats

June 25, 2009 by sandor.fagyal

We all know it’s true, but now there is more evidence that dogs are smarter than cats.
A new study, reported in the Guardian newspaper suggests cats don’t understand cause and effect as well as dogs do.

Tests were carried out by a Psychology lecturer Britta Osthaus. She set a group of 15 cats a simple task: attaching fish and biscuit treats to one end of a piece of string, placing them under a plastic screen to make them unreachable and then seeing if the cats could work out that pulling on the other end of the string would pull the treat closer.

The test was conducted using three different arrangements of string: a single baited string, two parallel strings where only one was baited, and two crossed strings where only one was baited. Cats had no problem solving the problem with a single string. With the other two tests, however, they fared much worse. No cat correctly chose between the two parallel strings.

Dogs, on the other hand, performed much better, especially in the parallel string test.
Osthaus, of Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent, said: "This finding is somehow surprising as cats regularly use their paws and claws to pull things towards them during play and hunting. They performed even worse than dogs, which can at least solve the parallel string task. I am not trying to say cats are stupid, just they are different.”

We all second that final thought, I'm sure.

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Super dogs - How Canines Can Sense Earthquakes

June 4, 2009 by sandor.fagyal
Dogs may be able to sense natural disasters - in particular, earthquakes.

The Greek historian Thucydides was probably the first to notice this ability.

He described how, days before a cataclysmic earthquake flattened the city of Helice, dogs abandoned the place in their droves. Thucydides was convinced the dogs knew what was coming and had run for their lives.
This has been borne out by scientific studies. One American study found that 17 out of 50 homes near the scene of a Californian quake in 1977 reported odd behaviour in their animals. Evidence ranged from a dog pacing around and fidgeting during its normal nap time to a normally placid dog whining excitedly. Studies in the Mojave desert in the US also found that dogs barked at small aftershocks unnoticed by humans but picked up by seismometers.

The most convincing recent evidence of this came before the Asian Tsunami struck on December 26th, 2004. In the hours before the tsunami many dogs refused to go for their daily walks near the sea. Many dogs were also seen running for higher ground minutes before the lethal tidal wave struck land killing thousands of people, who - unlike their pets - had been oblivious to the threat they faced.

For more odd and interesting scientific facts about man’s best friend you should read ‘Play It Again Tom: Curious Truths About Cats And Dogs’ by Augustus Brown.






How Smart is Your Dog?

May 13, 2009 by sandor.fagyal

Dogs are as bright as two-year-old children, at least when it comes to working out how to solve a simple puzzle.

That’s the fascinating conclusion of a new study by a team of Hungarian researchers. The team conducted a test in which a treat was hidden in a brown plastic flower pot. To help them find the treats, a group of 15 dogs - mostly around five years of age - and 24 children - 13 two-year-olds and 11 three-year-olds - were given various physical signals by the researchers. When they were shown pointed fingers, arms, legs and elbows the dogs and the children spotted where the treats were hidden. But more subtle clues were only understood by the three-year-old children. “Because of their evolutionary and developmental history, dogs are sensitive to the human signals,” said Gabriella Lakatos, lead author of the study and a research assistant in the department of ethology at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest.

Smart Dog



There were two other intriguing conclusions. Firstly, the dog’s ancient ancestor, the wolf, didn’t respond in the same way when tested and ignored all signals.

Secondly, dogs get better at following and obeying the signals as they get older which contrasts with children, especially when they reach their teenage years. Then they either ignore or do the opposite of what they are being told to do!

To read more visit: Health News


Dog Doctors: How Canines Can Detect Human Illness

April 21, 2009 by sandor.fagyal

Ever since our ancient ancestors first domesticated the dog, we have suspected our canine companions of possessing strange, healing powers.

According to one old wives’ tale from Greece, for instance, if you were about to choke on a bone you should let an unweaned puppy give you the kiss of life. (Unless it was a fishbone, in which case you should apply an unweaned kitten.) Modern science, however, has discovered more tangible evidence of the dog’s powers to heal.

There is, for instance, a growing body of evidence to suggest that dogs can detect cancer. In one study, dogs were found to be able to detect lung, breast and other cancers with an accuracy rate of between 88 and 97 per cent. By contrast, hospital scanners are reckoned to have an accuracy of between only 85 and 90 per cent.

Dogs also seem to have the ability to sense when a person is going to have an epileptic fit. A study conducted in Canada, found that dogs who lived with children prone to epileptic fits behaved oddly before the attacks. Some dogs would lick the child’s face, for instance. Others would act protectively, in one case leading a young girl away from a set of stairs moments before she had an attack. The warnings came as early as five hours in advance.

Health experts are now training “seizure alert” or “seizure response” dogs, some of which can predict fits.
No one has yet explained how the dog does this. While some scientists argue they detect scent or behavioural clues, others think they can pick up on telltale electrical activity in humans.

For more odd and interesting scientific facts about man’s best friend you should read ‘Play It Again Tom: Curious Truths About Cats And Dogs’ by Augustus Brown.





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The remarkable radar system of dogs

February 23, 2009 by sandor.fagyal

We all know that dogs can hear better than us. Try sneaking up on them and you'll find how difficult it is unless they're distracted, or there is another noise in the distance. This fantastic hearing isn't merely because their ears are more sensitive. There is another mechanism that makes a dog able to not only detect sounds, but also figure out where they're coming from.

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Humans are notoriously bad at figuring out the location of sounds. We are easily distracted by sight first and sound later. Dogs however, have ears that move around or swivel as most of you might has seen. This movement acts as a sort of radar that allows the dog to display a comprehensive awareness of the source of sounds.

Of course, the time in which this happens is also important. In the case of humans, our typical reaction time is 2/3rds of a second. A dog however, can locate the source of a sound in as little as 6/100ths of a second! A remarkable ability and just another reminder of how talented our furry friends are.

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