Dogs Able To Sync Up Their Behavior With Children, New Research Finds

In Education

In many homes, a dog is a friend, protector, and another friend to the kids. Although kids and dogs are always close, the rate at which they learn from each other has been hard to determine. To be specific, it had been difficult to determine if dogs learn from kids. Recent research has found that dogs are able to synch up their behavior and learn from small children. The study, however, suggests that dogs learn more from adults than they do from children. Researchers from Oregon State University conducted this study.

The use of dogs in therapy and rehabilitation

These findings are monumental and will help doctors know how well dogs learn from children and how this interaction can be tapped for therapy and rehabilitation. Doctors test another therapy and rehabilitation procedure for children that involve incorporating canines to boost a child’s physical activity, social development, and trauma management.

In a statement, Oregon State animal behaviorist Monique Udell said that it is good news that dogs pay a lot of attention to children they stay with. He noted that dogs are responsive to children and, in many cases, in synchrony with them. The study was conducted to find out how much dogs learn from their owner’s children.

In the study, researchers observed 30 kids between the ages of eight and 17 and watched how they interacted with their dogs. They examined how the dog influenced the child’s development stability and how much the kids influenced the dogs’ behaviors.

Each child was paired with their canine friends in the study and put in a large empty room. Each child and their dogs were required to walk along colored lines. Researchers recorded much time the child and the dog walked together. They also recorded how long the child and the dog were within one meter of each other. Finally, they recorded the amount of time the dog and child were facing in the same direction.

The risk of pairing kids with dogs

Researchers plan to conduct more research, including looking into how well dogs fare when used during therapy. Additional study will also focus on establishing the quality of bonding between kids and their canine friends.

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