Monday, March 6, 2017

Like Owner...

I took advantage of the rainy day to wash's been a while, but I'm going to have to do it again soon: with all the shampoo lathered up, he actually let me tease and untangle matted fur on his hind leg feathers...he has such fine hair, and generally won't let me near his buttocks to brush...
I only got one leg done, however, it was a lengthy process, and he began to protest the second leg...the skin was getting red from the friction and pulling too, so I gave up. He does like having his ears washed and having his face towel dried...
Meanwhile via the HeARTs Speak FB page I read "Why your dog's personality is a lot like yours”, an article by Cari Romm which reports on the BBC reporting of a Schoeberl et. al. research paper published open access at PLOS, named 

Psychobiological Factors Affecting Cortisol Variability in Human-Dog Dyads

I tend to like to read things at source, as things get so distorted by the whole they said they said. Basically the study is looking at cortisol level variations in bonded pairs of dogs raised from a puppy with one significant owner, which they label as dyad, 
We investigated dyadic psychobiological factors influencing intra-individual cortisol variability in response to different challenging situations by testing 132 owners and their dogs in a laboratory setting.
The long and the short of it is the dogs seem to be influenced by how laid back their owners other words, giving me hope that over time Sherlock will match the chill and relax vibes in the warmth of the home here...after all, it's only been 11 months so far, and his hyper scale has definitely gone down from about a 10 to a 5...
We conclude that individual cortisol variability over different challenging situations may be indicative of individual adaptation in humans as well as dogs. High intra-individual cortisol variability could be an indicator of efficient and adaptive coping... We suggest that both owner and dog social characteristics influence dyadic cortisol variability, with the human partners being more influential than the dog. These findings underscore the importance of considering the human-dog dyad on a systemic level, i.e. including the social context in experimental science as well as in dog training and dog behavior therapy.
Unfortunately for me and Sherlock however, the researchers found women had least calming effect on male dogs...or else the women were overall more nervous about the whole testing process and how it would go with their dogs (my caveat).
During domestication, dogs became highly adapted to living with humans; therefore minor variations in the owners´ interaction styles may have distinct effects on the dogs´ physiological and behavioral responses (45). Dogs can probably discriminate human gender and may adapt their behavior according to the owner gender. For example, male dogs of female owners are less sociable and relaxed than male dogs of male owners [46]. This seems to be reflected in our result where female owners with male dogs were shown to have the lowest cortisol variability compared to all other dyadic gender combinations.
It's all a bit over my head BUT interesting and worth reading a little more carefully over a couple of days to really understand the parameters and set-up, not to mention the validity of the conclusions. 

No comments:

Post a Comment