University of Nebraska research lab to study dog behavior
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Dog lovers can seek insight into their beloved pooch’s behavior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s new research lab.
The Canine Cognition and Human Interaction Lab will open for its first round of studies this fall, the Lincoln Journal Star reported . Pet owners can enroll their dogs in the program to have researchers study their behavior and decision-making.
“I’m very interested in a dog’s patience, and if can they control temptations that they face,” said Jeffrey Stevens, an associate psychology professor who created the research program. “Once we figure it out, we can train and develop some techniques that help dogs behave better.”
The research focuses on dog’s cognition, psychology and interaction with humans. Cognition data will be helpful for training service or police dogs. Other research will show the pet’s impact on human behavior, such as stress.
Stevens decided to bring a canine research lab to Nebraska after taking a sabbatical in Austria. He was inspired by the behavioral dog lab at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln lab is nearly ready to open. It’s receiving its finishing touches, such as a potty-proof floor, and cameras are installed.
“We’re excited and very interested in researching about everyone’s dogs, just to learn as much as we can,” said Elise Thayer, a graduate student working in the program. “We are not done formulating all of our ideas, but come late September, the lab will be fully functional.”
About 150 dogs have already been enrolled in the program. There’s unlimited space with no applicant limit.
“The university has been extremely supportive for this; they really got behind me, invested in it and helped me out,” Stevens said. “I’m super excited to see how enthusiastic (everyone is) about the lab. A lot of folks are happy to try to understand aspects of their dogs.”
Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com