Dogs would rather get a belly rub than a treat
Copyright: Gregory Berns

Copyright: Gregory Berns

When training dogs, a pat on the head may be more effective than a treat. A new study suggests that most dogs respond more positively to praise than to food. Researchers scanned (pictured) the brains of 15 dogs of various breeds while presenting objects paired with rewards. For example, after the scientists showed the canines a toy car, their owners would praise them. In other tests, the researchers gave the dogs a toy horse and a piece of hot dog. The scans revealed that when praised, 13 of the dogs showed equal or greater levels of brain activity in the region that controls decision-making and signals rewards than when they received food, the scientists will report in an upcoming issue of Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. | Read more ...

Rachael Lallensack