2013 is looking pretty good! I loved your recent post on motor, sensory and structural aspects of laterality in dogs. This is the type of research that gets me going. Who would think any information could come from this, and then... Tada!!!
|Dogs with clockwise chest whorls were more likely 'right-pawed'|
Project: Play with Your Dog is going well! We’re getting loads of submissions from people across the globe, and we'll be collecting submissions through Spring 2013. It’s exciting that people are opening up and sharing little tidbits into how they interact with their dogs.
Bark magazine blogger, JoAnna Lou recently gave the study a shout out, and that has definitely resulted in the submission of more videos!
The feeling of anticipation
The other thing I love about play is the overarching feelings of excitement, joy and anticipation -- with anticipation probably being my favorite. Play with my cat Josh is mostly about anticipation (And as you know, Josh is behind the world famous Tumblr page, http://thingsmycatbroke.tumblr.com. The page hasn’t been updated in a month, which is probably a good thing).
In fact, play is often used as an indicator of “positive welfare.” How do we know whether an animal -- or a group of animals -- is doing well, feeling good, and generally happy? How do we explore their welfare? If animals have the time, energy and overall fitness to play, it's often assumed their basic biological functions and physiological needs are met. So a playing animal could indicate that an animal is doing well physiologically and emotionally.
Mia, you’re preparing to speak on the topic of emotional states and working dogs at a really interesting conference organized by RSPCA Australia: When coping is not enough - Promoting positive welfare states in animals. Do working dogs get time to play? What else will you be talking about? Tell tell!
Happy 2013! Let play (and happiness) reign!
Boissy A., Manteuffel G., Jensen M.B., Moe R.O., Spruijt B., Keeling L.J., Winckler C., Forkman B., Dimitrov I. & Langbein J. & (2007). Assessment of positive emotions in animals to improve their welfare, Physiology & Behavior, 92 (3) 375-397. DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2007.02.003
© Julie Hecht 2013