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How Would Your Hunting Dog React If You Were in Trouble?

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If you are here shopping for coon hunting supplies, we’re willing to bet that you are what is commonly referred to these days as a “dog person.” (No comment on “cat people,” we’re sure there are probably some very nice ones out there.) What about your dog, though? Would your Tennessee Walker or bluetick hound channel Lassie and come to your aid if you were in peril?

That’s what researchers at Arizona State University wanted to find out. (Well, they weren’t interested in what your particular treeing walker or hound would do, but you get the idea.)

Joshua Van Bourg and Clive Wynne, an ASU professor of psychology and director of the school’s Canine Science Collaboratory, were the researchers who ran the study, which was set up to determine if pet dogs would try to save their distressed owner.

If you have ever wondered what is going on in your dog’s head, you would probably appreciate Van Bourg’s approach. He’s a graduate student in Arizona State University's Department of Psychology. According to the statement put out by the university, Van Bourg says that just watching a dog rescue someone won’t tell you much. "The difficult challenge is figuring out why they do it," Van Bourg says.

The study examined the propensity of 60 pet dogs to rescue their owners from a big box. None of the dogs had previous training for the task. About a third of them rescued their owners who had realistically pretended to be distressed. It would have been more, but some of the dogs were unable to figure out how to save them. More than two-thirds of the dogs at least tried to rescue their owner rather than go after some food.

"A lot of the time it isn't necessarily about rescuing," Van Bourg explained. "But that doesn't take anything away from how special dogs really are. Most dogs would run into a burning building just because they can't stand to be apart from their owners. How sweet is that? And if they know you're in distress, well, that just ups the ante."

“It shows that dogs really care about their people,” Wynne says. Even without training, many dogs will try and rescue people who appear to be in distress -- and when they fail, we can still see how upset they are.”

So, what do you think? Would your dog save you?

And did you know that in addition to the Garmin Alpha, Garmin accessories and other coon hunting supplies, we carry dog treats and toys? You might want to stock up!



 

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