Pet parents often consider their puppy’s physical health, but what about the animal’s mental state? New research shows that dogs are inclined toward wither pessimism or optimism — much like their human counterparts.
Researchers at the University of Sydney studied 40 dogs and found that the animals had distinct outlooks, some sunnier than others. Lead researcher Melissa Starling says that the findings could be significant in determining roles for service dogs.
“If we knew how optimistic or pessimistic the best candidates for a working role are, we could test dogs’ optimism early and identify good candidates for training for that role,” Starling said in a press release. “A pessimistic dog that avoids risks would be better as a guide dog while an optimistic, persistent dog would be more suited to detecting drugs or explosives.”
Pessimistic dogs aren’t necessarily “unhappy,” the study found. Rather they’re satisfied with the way things are and might need more nudging to try something new.
Read more at Discovery News
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