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I enjoy using my dogs for research. Most of the time it has involved a swabbing of saliva at home and some owner surveys and tests. We've taken part in Darwin's Dogs (so to be Darwin's Ark) and Dognition and Embark Vet, all three sharing info. Recently I brought my big-boy the dog research lab at the University of Maryland. It was so cool, but so out of the usual for my boy that by the time we were done he was like, "you are nice people but crazy...I'm out of here". Actually he handled the testing excellently. I was so proud of him. They take photos to share on Facebook and IG but here is my photo at home. The trip to the university cut into his mid day nap time.

I asked about the results they have gotten so far. One thing they shared with me is that they have gotten different results from small lap type dogs than from larger working dogs. Shows a bit of the differences they were bred for.
 

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I really like the language used on the certificate "with all the Rights and Honors thereunto appertaining". One would have to burn some serious midnight oil to come up with something to top that LOL! I love it, my dictionary, not so much...
 

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Congratulations on his "DOGtorate" and thanks for his contribution to the study of "Canine Language Perception"! :)

I think that to them, we sound like the grown-ups in Charlie Brown movies who say "Wah wah wawawa waa"...
so it's amazing how many words they do manage to figure out!
 

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My last dog was severely epileptic and I got him into a brain MRI study of epileptic dogs. It was a lot of work taking him in for a dozen MRIs but I got to keep all of the brain MRIs which is pretty neat.
 

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Congratulations on his "DOGtorate" and thanks for his contribution to the study of "Canine Language Perception"! :)

I think that to them, we sound like the grown-ups in Charlie Brown movies who say "Wah wah wawawa waa"...
so it's amazing how many words they do manage to figure out!
One of the things they were looking at is how a dog's response compares to a toddler's. I asked them what they had found out so far and they've gotten more insight over how different breeds react. The larger working type dog had different responses than smaller lap dogs.
And for those who think dogs only pay attention to the first syllable, that doesn't seem to be the case. I look forward to reading about their findings when all of their research is done.
 

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My last dog was severely epileptic and I got him into a brain MRI study of epileptic dogs. It was a lot of work taking him in for a dozen MRIs but I got to keep all of the brain MRIs which is pretty neat.

Is there something you can scan and share an example with us? What do they look for in the MRI?
 

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I read some of the research they're doing on the UMD website. This sounds really cool! I may try to participate with Katsu.
 

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Is there something you can scan and share an example with us? What do they look for in the MRI?
I have the 3D image volumes from my dog's scans. Most scans look the same unless there's severe brain injury. Generally the stuff you look for in different neurological diseases is subtle.

My dog's study was looking at a variety of different image features in the MRI. Things like volume of different regions in the brain, asymmetry in structures in the brain, general structural abnormalities.

It hasn't been published yet but it would look very similar to this study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5682304/ which includes some pictures. That study only had 141 dogs in it though and the statistics aren't very convincing. The study my dog was in was working to accumulate scans from thousands of dogs.
 

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That's fascinating!


OT, but I have to say it: I love Patton's face and eyes. He's such a handsome fellow! You can see he's a sweet, very loved boy in that expression.
 

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Chief's turn

My gal-dog was so good with the researchers. When they left the room for the test she was way more interested in where they went and what they were doing outside of the sound booth than the lights and noises they played. I was wearing headphones so I heard very little of what they were playing or what noises they were using. She had such different responses than my big-boy had. While he had lay there by my feet listening to the sounds and following the lights and trying to make sense of it all, my gal-dog wanted to leave the booth and see what was behind the walls and curtains.

She was all chill during the first part of the test where Patton seemed more concerned trying to understand things. The 2nd part he played along and thought about how to respond, watching and listening. Chief talked to the researchers during the entire 2nd part of the test. It was the same talk she does at the fence when she wants the neighbor's dog to come out to the yard. Chief was more action oriented and got want to go see more things to understand what to do.
 

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Here are some of the results from the studies going on at the University of Maryland. Patton and Chief weren't in this study. This was the one that they were working on right before we volunteered. I'm very happy to see them set up a blog to share their results. I signed my dogs up again if they would like us to come in for another study.

https://www.umddogblog.com/blog/
 

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Today we have our 3rd visit at the University of Maryland. The dogs are beginning to recognize the place and enjoy going even more. Of course, they don't really recognize what they are doing and often tell the researchers so...What did you want? Are you guys crazy? but then they settle down and just enjoy the visit.
And as typical for her, my gal-dog talked to them through the entire experiment.
 

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