Why are dogs so friendly
Leave it up to scientists to question things we take for granted. In this case they have been stumped to come up with a reason why dogs are so innately friendly. Well, new studies suggest it may be a mutation in doggie DNA. The mutation is also found in a rare human disease that makes people extremely friendly.
It is believed that as dogs evolved from wolves, humans encouraged the change through breeding. In other words dogs were bred to respond positively and friendly toward humans. In a recent experiment at Oregon State University, 18 dogs and 10 wolves were challenged to solve a puzzle. They could solve it when they were alone, with someone they knew, or with a stranger.
The wolves consistently outperformed the dogs because they remained focused on their task regardless of the human presence. The dogs on the other hand got distracted by people and seemed to rely on intervention to help solve the problem.
The researchers were able to pinpoint differences in two genes which have been linked to Williams-Beuren syndrome in humans, which causes overly friendly behavior. It actually delays cognition in humans but works for dogs because they have learned to get what they need from people.
So it seems that the disease that makes life challenging for humans has made dogs successful because they have learned to respond positively and friendly to people. I can say for sure that Watson is one happy, friendly pup and to be honest I’m super happy he is.
IN NEED OF
Garage sale items. We need gently used appliances, furniture, treadmills and miscellaneous items. We don’t need clothing. You can drop off items at our storage unit located at 1105 Taylor Place (Spring Valley Rentals), unit 96. Someone will be there from 9-11 a.m. on Saturday.
Emergency donations to help with two recent surgeries performed on CAPS dogs. Any amount will help. Our surgery budget is greatly depleted.
Bleach, disinfectant and towels. Please drop them off at CAPS.
Volunteers to walk dogs or play with cats. Call 775-423-7500 for details.
Aluminum cans, which we recycle to augment our shelter funds. We are unable to pick up cans because of trailer problems, but continue to save them.
SHOUT OUT TO
Karen Aberle our new executive director. We welcome her to our CAPS family. Karen told me, “My love of animals brought me to CAPS.” Karen certainly does love animals because her family consists of two dogs, three cats and four horses. She has plenty of love to give our guests and we are fortunate to have her. A “Ten Dog and Cat” salute to Karen! We are happy you are here.
COME SEE US
CAPS will be at Walmart Saturday with our Kissin’ Booth and a sweet smooching pooch. Come by to get your pooch smooch. We also will have caps, short-sleeved T-shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts, so please check them out.
CAPS annual garage sale that will be held Sept. 16-17 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. inside at Oasis Community Church, 1520 S. Maine St.
Flower Tree Nursery will be raffling a 20-gallon tree of your choice on Sept.15, and the winner doesn’t have to be present to win. The raffle tickets are available at Flower Tree, and they are $1 for one ticket and $5 for six tickets.
CAPS’ mailing address is P.O. Box 5128, Fallon, NV 89406. CAPS’ phone number is 775-423-7500. CAPS’ email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the CAPS website (www.capsnevada.com) and Facebook page (Churchill Animal Protection Society). Be sure to “Like” CAPS on Facebook because we are really likable.
Do you have questions, comments or a great story? Contact me at email@example.com.
Kathleen Williams-Miller, a CAPS volunteer, contributed this week’s column.