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Recent paper on the “New Era of Canine Science: Reshaping Our Relationships with Dogs”

Alina Simona Rusu

August 20, 2021

A recent study published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science by Evan L. MacLean, Aubrey Fine, Harold Herzog, Eric Strauss and Mia L. Cobb, includes valuable reflections and recommendations on the canine science, in terms of assessing the state of the field and challenges and opportunities for its future. The paper summarizes and discusses a series of articles in the Frontiers research topic Our Canine Connection: The History, Benefits and Future of Human-Dog Interactions. The reflections included in the paper are based on two meetings sponsored by the Wallis Annenberg PetSpace Leadership Institute, which convened experts from diverse areas of canine sciences. The authors stress out the fact that the rise of canine science has benefited substantially from public interest and participation in the research process, and the dog owners themselves have played and are playing a significant role in the scientific process “serving as community scientists who contribute to systematic gathering of data from the convenience of their homes”. Also, because so many persons, especially pet owners, have extensive personal experiences with dogs, researchers face unique challenges in sharing research results. Hence, it is highly recommended that the area of communication of the scientific results outside the empirical literature in canine-related topics should be payed more attention than it was payed so far, by taking into account the fact that the dissemination of the results does not always result in different animal care decisions, industry practice and legislation. The authors conclude with a “Looking ahead” section, in which the readers can find an interesting comparison of dog science with urban ecology, which supports the idea of responsible animal research models.


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