Canine minds uncovered

It’s dogs again, horse people, but this is amazing! fMRI scans of dogs’ brains show neural regions responding to owners’ hand signals.  So now you can see the physiological evidence that shows your dog’s brain really is doing something when you give them any kind of cue.  Great to see the neurobiology in action!  Click on the link above for more information.  One of the great things is the length of time researchers took to habituate the dogs to entering the scanner and wear ear muffs!  Great photo here of a calm, positively motivated dog receiving a treat!  This kind of habituation is useful in situations such as hydrotherapy too – slowly getting a dog used to a new experience, using reward to help the process along.  Applies to horses too, particularly in situations like loading into a horsebox.  Taking your time to reward a horse for approaching nearer and nearer the wagon, eventually putting one, two, three, four feet on the ramp and walking into the box, pays dividends for years to come as you have a horse that will load reliably each time you want to travel them.

Credit: Photo by Bryan Meltz

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