Dogs live to play and please, no questions asked
A new study on canine behaviour has shown that yes, dogs are man's best friend. They're programmed to please their human masters, but they're not as loyal as previously believed.
Socialized canines don't even seem to care whom they play with, the study found, as long as the person plays by the same rules and general manner established by the dog's owner during prior play sessions.
"It could mean that if, over time, the dog and its owner develop a routine of games, the dog could generalize these behavior routines to other play situations with another unfamiliar person, and the dog is less prone to misunderstanding human intentions," lead author Lilla Toth told Discovery News.
The study advises dog owners to play with and spend as much time as possible with their dogs.
"The more (owners) play with their dogs, and we mean the more types of games as well, the better," she said.
The dog's breed played a minor role, with breeds selected for fighting, such as terriers, occasionally tending to get more stimulated during the more competitive tug-of-war game. Gender was a slightly more important factor, with males tending to be somewhat less tentative than females, and more males than females preferring tug-of-war.
"That doesn't surprise me," said Lisa Peterson, an American Kennel Club spokesperson, "since females rear the young and have a tendency to be more leery."