Almost 4 years ago, in July of 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a public alert stating that they had reports of an apparent increase in the national incidence of Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs. At the time, it was speculated (without evidence) that the perceived increase in cases was related to the consumption … Continue reading The (Dis)connection between Grain-Free Foods and DCM
Dog foods that are produced with human-grade ingredients have increased in number and popularity in recent years. In addition to containing food ingredients that are classified and handled differently than typical pet food ingredients, these products are usually less highly processed when compared with extruded kibble (see "Human Grade Dog Foods: Some Science" for details). … Continue reading More Human-Grade Research… and a Rant
No, this is not about a Disney Movie. But it IS about freezing. The freezing of dog food, actually. Raw dog food. The number of brands and forms of commercial raw dog foods available to owners has increased dramatically in recent years. A common type of raw diet is in the form of frozen rolls … Continue reading Frozen – Let it Go.
This blog is about science. Not to put too fine a point on this, but the name is, after all "The Science Dog", not "The Anecdotes Dog." Early in this blog's history, I wrote a series of essays that examined the principal underlying constructs of science (see The Steve Series). In a nutshell, the scientific … Continue reading It’s Not Rocket Science….But, it IS Science
Most people are familiar with the concept of a “placebo effect”, the perception of improved health while unknowingly receiving a sham (placebo) treatment that in reality should have no benefit at all. Growing up, my mother referred to this as “giving someone a sugar pill”. The assumption is that because we believe that we are … Continue reading Consider the (Caregiver) Placebo Effect
There is a common cognitive bias, the Fundamental Attribution Error, that is central to the way in which we view others and make judgements about their behavior. It is supported by a large body of research and is one of the most common errors that our brains make on a regular basis. The Fundamental Attribution Error refers to our tendency to explain … Continue reading Excitable You
The Case dogs have an evening dinner ritual. This ritual has not changed much in the last few years and deviates very little in its nightly performance. It begins, like clockwork, at 8:15 pm and is currently directed by Cadie, our senior Golden girl. Mike (my husband) typically feeds the dogs their evening meal, so … Continue reading What’s Your Dinner Ritual?
In "Thyroid on Trial" we used an evidence pyramid to examine the various types of scientific studies that have been used to examine the hypothesis that there is a connection between hypothyroidism and aggressive behavior in dogs. We followed this example up through most of the levels of the pyramid, finishing at the penultimate level, the randomized, controlled trial. At the tippy … Continue reading What the Dog’s Nose Knows
Every day, we are bombarded with new information about dogs that arises from a variety of sources - via the internet, through our smart (or not so smart) phones, from our colleagues, friends and family, and of course from our neighbor Joe next door (who happens to know a lot about dogs). In this day and age of information overload, it should … Continue reading Thyroid on Trial
So, here we are, with three study groups described in Part 3 of this series. Each group consists of 25 young adult dogs, representing a range of breeds and breed-types. This collection of dogs is considered a sample of the population that we are testing. In this example, we identify the population as all young adult dogs living in … Continue reading Your face is gonna freeze like that (Part 4)…….(a.k.a. Why we need multiple Steves)
The mental manipulations that we described in Part 1 are actually a form of psychological priming. Priming occurs when the way in which a person responds to an event (stimulus) is influenced by a previous stimulus. Perhaps most intriguing is the fact that much of this influence takes place outside of our conscious awareness. In part 2, we presented our working hypothesis that priming may … Continue reading Your face is gonna freeze like that (Part 3)…….(aka: How many Steves?)
Part 1 of this topic reviewed a bit of research suggesting that emotional states can (rather easily it appears) be manipulated, which in turn influences our perceptions and opinions of unrelated events. In Part 2, we ask how might these results be applicable to dog training. Most trainers are intimately aware of and concerned with the emotional states of our dogs. Our goal … Continue reading Your face is gonna freeze like that………(Part 2)
This oft used rebuke, uttered by moms everywhere, is typically directed toward crabby toddlers, sullen teens, and the occasional discontented failed-to-launch 29-year-old. We all know that the implied consequence of having one's face freeze like that is to remain perpetually in a bad mood; a mood that will plague us for the rest of our natural lives and that will make ourselves and everyone around us … Continue reading Your face is gonna freeze like that…… (Part 1)