Sunday, May 9, 2010

Some dogs undesrtand better than others

Dogs have been bred for thousands of years to be companion animals for humans. More importantly, dogs have been bread to make the lives of people easier.

Historically, the dog that followed direction was desired over the dog that didn't. Now, I'm not talking about "pet dogs", I 'm talking about dogs with jobs.

Scientists have been finding that dogs that have historically work with people, understand better than dogs that work independently.

In other words - pointing dogs know our language better than terriers. Herding dogs - understand us the most.

Márta Gácsi, from Eötvös University, Hungary, worked with a team of researchers to examine the performance of different breeds of dogs in making sense of the human pointing gesture. ScienceDaily Gácsi said, "It has been suggested that the study of the domestic dog might help to explain the evolution of human communicative skills, because the dog has been selected for living in a human environment and engaging in communicative interactions with humans for more than 10,000 years. However, this study is the first to reveal striking difference in the performance of breed groups selected for different characteristics."

The researchers found that gun dogs and sheep dogs were better than hunting hounds, earth dogs (dogs used for underground hunting), livestock guard dogs and sled dogs at following a pointing finger. They also out-performed mongrels. Moreover, breeds with short noses and centrally placed eyes were better at interpreting the gesture than those with long noses and widely spaced eyes, which can probably be connected to a more optimal retinal location of greatest visual acuity, that might help focus their attention.
Does this make one dog any better than the other? No. Every dog has a purpose. Just be sure you know what you are getting.

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