Emory University neuroscientist Gregory Burns, by scanning the brains of dozens of dogs over the past five years, has established, to his satisfaction, that most dogs enjoy praise from their humans almost, or even as much as, food treats. Geez, Greg, folks who’ve shared their lives with pooches could have told you this without your having to bother the dogs, or to squander all that MRI time that might have otherwise been used to find out something we didn’t already know.
The late, great Easy, our beloved German short-haired pointer, enjoyed the praise that my wife and I lavished on her. But she was damned partial to bacon as well. In somewhat less-than-strictly-scientific-research, the wondrous Easy also taught us that dogs remember and can count. Any time I let her see me put three dog treats in my coat pocket before going to the dog park, there was no way on arrival there that I could get away with giving her just two.
Clearly scientists at Emory have a lot of time on their hands.
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