San Diego Mobile Pet Grooming Blog
A new study by the Canine Science Collaboratory at Arizona State University and published in the journal Behavioral Processes, says that dogs prefer petting over vocal praise. Like, a lot. Like, petting is up there with a nice T-bone steak.
So, it probably comes as no surprise that your dog loves a good tummy rub. What dog doesn’t, right? What is a surprise is how much they like it.
For the study, researchers observed 72 dogs, from both homes and shelters, in eight 3-minute sessions. The interactions included just verbal praise, just petting, both petting and verbal praise, or no interaction at all.
What the study showed surprised even the researchers.
We might assume that verbal praise was at least a close second to petting. But it wasn’t. The dogs in fact, showed the same interest in verbal praise as they did with no interaction at all. Vocal praise has no effect on the dog’s desire to hang out with their owners.
Even more interesting, the dogs do not even care who is doing the petting whether it is the owner or a stranger.
Most of us spend at least part of the day praising and communicating with our pets. Is it a total waste? No; but researchers say that we need to realize that it is more for us than them.
Why dogs prefer petting may not be a mystery. Physical contact is powerful. Previous studies have shown that petting reduces a dog’s heart rate and blood pressure, same as physical touch does in humans.
Now, we are not dismissing the value of vocal praise here at Awesome Doggies. We are just celebrating the value of petting in the bonding process. Dogs will always get a ton of vocal praise from us, but we always pair it with a great pet and a treat as well. Yeah, we like to cover all the bases here. And the dogs aren’t complaining one bit!
Pamper your pet today and give Awesome Doggies a call!
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