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Presents for dogs? What does science say about your dog’s new present?

Presents for dogs? What does science say about your dog’s new present?

What is your dog going to think about the new presents you are considering?

If you are like us at Dee-O-Gee, we spend a lot, like, a LOT of time thinking about dogs and wondering about random things like: Why do dogs have cold poops or why do dogs like to bark at NOTHING??? Can dogs see ghosts?

After the last time we dropped a chunk of change on new stuff for Jericho (see photo of small dog with big ears in Christmas present box), we wondered if dogs actually care about the things we buy them. What do you think?

A new present could be anything … a new toy, fun flavorful treats or something long lasting *safe* to chew on.

To find out if these new things ACTUALLY meant something to Jericho, we dug up some info from Alexandra Horowitz and Julie Hecht, two experts studying the science of dog.

Here’s what we found out.

A 2008 study by the University of Giessen in Germany and the University of Lincoln in the UK tested just how much dogs love getting new presents. Researchers played with 17 dogs using two toys per dog, making sure that the dogs enjoyed the toys they were being introduced to. Later, the pups were faced with a lineup of 3 toys. Two were the ones they had previously played with and enjoyed, and one was brand new.

This dog must have just found out about a new toy!
This dog must have just found out about a new toy!

The unfamiliar object was chosen first in 38 out of 50 tests, indicating that not only do dogs recognize new stuff, but they prefer it!

We’re not not going to use this as a reason to surprise our dogs with presents. Just saying.

We know as well as the next crazy dog person that keeping up with your dog’s new toy habit can cost a pretty penny. But fear not! Dog psychologist, Julie Hecht tells us that there are ways to make old stuff feel new again.

She writes, “Instead of leaving toys out all the time so that they lose their appeal, toys can be put out of sight. You might even consider adding a new scent to the toys, rolling them in leaves or grass.”

Now if only you could roll everything you own in grass to curb our online clothes shopping habits, then we’d really be getting somewhere.

Woof!

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