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Friday, July 6, 2018

Human encouragement might influence how dogs solve problems.

Human encouragement might influence how dogs solve problems.A new study sheds light on how people influence animal behavior. Researchers evaluated the behavior of search and rescue dogs and pet dogs when presented with the same problem-solving task. Both sets of dogs persisted at the task for about the same proportion of time, but the search and rescue dogs were more successful at solving the task when encouraged by their owners. Human encouragement might influence how dogs solve problems, according to a new Oregon State University study. The study, published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science, sheds light on how people influence animal behavior, said study lead author Lauren Brubaker, a doctoral student in OSU's Human-Animal Interaction Lab. Brubaker evaluated the behavior of search and rescue dogs and pet dogs when presented with the same problem-solving task. Both sets of dogs persisted at the task for about the same proportion of time, but the search and rescue dogs were more successful at solving the task when encouraged by their owners.