New Study Finds Dogs Similar to Children

By Amy Sinatra Ayres

iStockphotoIt's no surprise that many dog owners think of their pup as their child. But what may be more surprising is a new study that finds that dogs feel the same way - they react to their owners in a way is strikingly similar to the way children react to their parents.

The behavior is rooted in the bonding that happens when pooches think of their protectors as a "secure base" that gives them confidence and safety, according to a new study by researchers University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, that was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

In an experiment, researchers found that dogs were more interested in working for treats when their caregivers were in the room. "One of the things that really surprised us is that adult dogs behave towards their caregivers like human children do," said the study's author, Lisa Horn. - Read it at Today

Plus: On the heels of that study, the results of a new poll from Public Policy Polling on how Americans view pets may not be so surprising. The poll finds that 52 percent of those asked prefer dogs, 1 in 5 prefer spending time with their pets to spending time with other people and a third said they let their pets sleep in the bed with them. - Read it at National Geographic

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