Is your dog “socially eavesdropping” on you?

As many dog owners know, the animals eagerly watch people all the time, said the study’s senior author, Kazuo Fujita, a professor of psychology and comparative cognition at Kyoto University in Japan.
But it’s not clear whether dogs watch people for the animals’ own immediate benefit (such as for a signal that they’re getting a treat) or simply to figure out what’s happening.
If dogs, or any animals, are able to socially eavesdrop on people, it could help the animals assess people from afar.

Dogs may play catch, obey commands and even share the occasional dessert with their owners, but can they understand simple interactions between people?

A new study says yip-yip-yes.

In a recent experiment, dogs tended to avoid people who had snubbed the animals’ owners, the researchers found. This suggests that dogs can read human social situations, an ability known as “social eavesdropping.” Read more…

Love Of Pets continues…

With 62% of Americans having at least one pet in their household, it’s easy to see how U.S. spending on pet care is approaching $20 billion.

According to a recent Nielsen survey conducted by Harris Poll, 95% of U.S. pet owners consider their pets to be part of the family. Two generations are spending the most: Millennials (65% own pets) and Gen X (71% own pets), according to the poll, which surveyed 2,205 U.S. adults, 1,323 of whom have at least one pet, online May 20-26. Read more…

6 Common Mistakes You Might Be Making With Your Dog

Raising a good canine citizen doesn’t come naturally to every dog guardian, which is one of the reasons so many unlucky pups are relinquished to animal shelters each year. Many people don’t realize that molding a puppy or adopted adult dog into a balanced canine companion requires a considerable investment of time and energy. Often dog owners develop bad habits without realizing it and are left feeling confused and frustrated with their dog’s uncooperative behavior.

Read more…

5 Jaw-Dropping Facts About Online Cat Videos

Cat videos are so ubiquitous on the Internet that they’ve become shorthand for the most trivial kind of clickbait. But a new exhibition called How Cats Took Over the Internet, now at Museum of the Moving Image in New York City, suggests that these feline videos can be more than a waste of time.

  1. Cat videos are a great mirror for the rise of online media.
  2. Cats do not actually dominate the Internet.
  3. Watching those cat videos may actually be good for you.
  4. Many of the people investigating the Internet cat videos do not actually consider themselves cat people.
  5. When we watch cat videos, we’re really looking for moments that remind us of ourselves.

Read more….

How Cats Clawed Their Way to Internet Stardom

“There is this understanding for anyone who spends time on the Internet that cats have this outsized role,” Mr. Eppink said. “The rise in attention to cats on the Internet gave cat lovers and cat enthusiasts this voice that they didn’t think they had.”
Read more….

Grumpy Cat, whose real name is Tardar Sauce, became a pop culture sensation. Photo: NBC/Getty Images