22nd June 2004

 

HOW GOOD ARE DOGS AT COMMUNICATING WITH HUMANS?

 

…And Barney wagged his tail happily as he saw his owner coming holding the dog food packet. Finally his owner realised that when Barney repeatedly looked at his empty bowl and then looked at him, Barney was trying to say that he wanted to be fed!

 

Is this a familiar experience for you and your dog? And have you ever thought how your dog is capable of communicating with you? Studies on dog intelligence are part of an area of growing scientific research which has already uncovered many important facts about the real ability of dogs to communicate with humans.

 

The research has already demonstrated that in some regards dogs appear to have even better comprehension of certain human communication signals than chimpanzees. It seems that living near humans for thousands of years might have facilitated the development of specific human-directed communication abilities in dogs.

 

Researchers from the University of Lincoln (UK) and the University of Sao Paulo (Brazil) are currently trying to assess the abilities that owners think dogs have in order to investigate the gaps that lie between popular report and science. If you would like to contribute to the work by offering your opinion please go to http://www.saudeanimal.com.br/questionnaire and fill out our questionnaire.

 

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Dr Daniel S. Mills BVSc PhD ILTM CBiol MIBiol MRCVS,

RCVS Recognised Specialist in Veterinary Behavioural Medicine

Daniela Ramos, Visiting Research Fellow, University of Lincoln

 

For more details contact:

Daniela Ramos: dramos@lincoln.ac.uk, danyvet@terra.com.br

                          (01522) 895 473

                          (01522) 589 340

 

For more information about this press release contact:

Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

01522 886042                         jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk

Visit our news web pages:      www.lincoln.ac.uk/news