THE WHIS­PERER

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PETS - Anne Box­hall

DO we judge a book by its cover when it comes to dogs? How well do we in­ter­pret dogs sim­ply by their ap­pear­ance?

An Aus­tralian re­search group is ex­plor­ing this ques­tion and look­ing to re­cruit par­tic­i­pants to help.

The An­thro­zo­ol­ogy Re­search Group is try­ing to un­der­stand what makes our re­la­tion­ships with com­pan­ion an­i­mals suc­ceed or fail in or­der to make life bet­ter for peo­ple and an­i­mals.

The cur­rent re­search pro­ject, Per­cep­tions of Dog Per­son­al­ity and Ap­pear­ance, in­volves look­ing at a pho­to­graph of a dog and re­spond­ing to de­scrip­tions re­gard­ing the dog’s phys­i­cal ap­pear­ance and per­son­al­ity.

The same dog ap­pears on more than six pages of a ques­tion­naire and par­tic­i­pants are asked to rate the dog on 52 traits – phys­i­cal traits such as friendly, fear­ful and play­ful, and per­son­al­ity traits such as re­laxed, tena­cious, hy­per­ac­tive, bid­dable and in­tel­li­gent.

There is no im­me­di­ate feed­back on how we’ve done in this canine quiz, but a sum­mary of the com­bined re­sults of the study will be avail­able upon re­quest from at the com­ple­tion of the re­search pro­ject.

To find out more or par­tic­i­pate in the study, visit the group’s Face­book page at www.face­book.com/an­thro­zo­ol­o­gyre­search­group

In other canine de­vel­op­ments, there is a new app called Poo Power, which uses satel­lite GPS to help fight back against dog poo on the streets.

De­vel­oped in Vic­to­ria, the iphone app en­ables a satel­lite sys­tem to pin­point lo­ca­tions and up­date a map of dog poo hot spots.

Col­lated pho­tos and lo­ca­tions of poo hotspots can be sent to lo­cal coun­cils to help in the fight against non-scoop­ing own­ers.

The app pro­vides real- time data on dog waste and dog own­ers’ be­hav­iour, valu­able in­for­ma­tion to coun­cils and wa­ter au­thor­i­ties and other hard-work­ing poo fight­ers.

De­vel­oper Dun­can Chew has taken it one step fur­ther in an in­no­va­tive pro­ject that uses dog waste as a source of re­new­able en­ergy, to be used to light pub­lic dog parks – re­cy­cling at its best.

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