News Bites for 8 October 2021

Oct 8, 2021 | News Bites

The “genius dogs” with a grasp of human language

A study of six “genius dogs” has advanced our understanding of dogs’ memories, suggesting some of them possess a remarkable grasp of the human language. Researchers evaluated the ability of the six dogs to remember words associated with particular toys. While dogs can learn commands to some degree, most dogs are unable to learn the names of particular items. Genius canines Max, Gaia, Nalani, Squall, Whisky and Rico, however, were able to learn the names of more than 28 toys, with some knowing more than 100. “Not only were [the dogs] able to learn so many words in a short time, [they] also formed a long-term memory of the new toy names which lasted for at least two months,” said research leader, Shany Dror. The findings could help us crack the similarities between canine and human cognitive learning. Read more

Charitable koala stethoscope charm

Veterinary and medial apparel designer Dr. Woof Apparel has joined forces with AVA Veterinary Business Group Veterinary Thought Leader of the Year 2020, Dr Marlena Lopez, to release a ‘Got Your Back’ koala charm which attaches to any stethoscope, in the hope of sparking conversations about animal welfare and Vets For Compassion and giving veterinary professionals an opening to encourage their colleagues to volunteer for the worthy cause. $5 from every charm sold will be donated to Vets For Compassion, an Australian not-for-profit organisation with a mission to protect and improve animal welfare in Australia and across the world.

“People love the charm, and since a portion of each sale goes towards wildlife rehabilitation, they’re happy to post about it and raise awareness about the worthy cause. Equipping veterinary professionals with the resources to better help animals in need is something we are very passionate about, and it’s great to have so many others stepping in to help!” said Dr Lopez. Read more