Do dogs laugh? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 12-12-2005, 10:41 AM
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Canine "laughter" helps calm dogs' souls

By The Associated Press

SPOKANE - An animal behaviorist says she's figured out what dogs are

doing when they make that excited panting noise while playing or

anticipating a much-desired walk.

They're laughing.

Patricia Simonet, development and program coordinator for Spokane

County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS), also found that

the sound of dog laughter comforts other dogs. When she played a

recording of "play panting" through the speaker system at a shelter in

Spokane Valley, all the barking dogs quieted within a minute.

"I wanted to see if I could reduce [the dogs] stress by playing the

sound in the shelter," Simonet said. "I was surprised when they were

calm and quiet."

Simonet, who is completing a doctorate in animal behavior from

Northcentral University in Prescott, Ariz., started researching dog

sounds in 2001 at Sierra Nevada College in Lake Tahoe, where she was a

professor of animal behavior. After coming to Spokane, she began

studying how to make shelter dogs feel more at ease.

Simonet and her students started by recording dogs at play. They

eventually isolated the sound she now calls laughter.

About a year ago, she asked Nancy Hill, director of SCRAPS, if she

could use the shelter dogs to determine the impact of dog sounds. When

SCRAPS was closed on Sundays, she would play the tapes for the

typically stressed animals.

Hill was pleasantly surprised with the results. "I've been here for 20

years, and this is the most significant thing I've seen," she said.

The study has brought SCRAPS and Simonet national attention. "We've

gotten e-mails from all over the world," Hill said.
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#2 Old 12-12-2005, 10:50 AM
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*this space not for sale*
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#3 Old 12-12-2005, 10:52 AM
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Thanks, I didn't see that before otherwise I would not have posted this.
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