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Canine "laughter" helps calm dogs' souls<br><br><br><br>
By The Associated Press<br><br><br><br>
SPOKANE - An animal behaviorist says she's figured out what dogs are<br><br>
doing when they make that excited panting noise while playing or<br><br>
anticipating a much-desired walk.<br><br><br><br>
They're laughing.<br><br><br><br>
Patricia Simonet, development and program coordinator for Spokane<br><br>
County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS), also found that<br><br>
the sound of dog laughter comforts other dogs. When she played a<br><br>
recording of "play panting" through the speaker system at a shelter in<br><br>
Spokane Valley, all the barking dogs quieted within a minute.<br><br><br><br>
"I wanted to see if I could reduce [the dogs] stress by playing the<br><br>
sound in the shelter," Simonet said. "I was surprised when they were<br><br>
calm and quiet."<br><br><br><br>
Simonet, who is completing a doctorate in animal behavior from<br><br>
Northcentral University in Prescott, Ariz., started researching dog<br><br>
sounds in 2001 at Sierra Nevada College in Lake Tahoe, where she was a<br><br>
professor of animal behavior. After coming to Spokane, she began<br><br>
studying how to make shelter dogs feel more at ease.<br><br><br><br>
Simonet and her students started by recording dogs at play. They<br><br>
eventually isolated the sound she now calls laughter.<br><br><br><br>
About a year ago, she asked Nancy Hill, director of SCRAPS, if she<br><br>
could use the shelter dogs to determine the impact of dog sounds. When<br><br>
SCRAPS was closed on Sundays, she would play the tapes for the<br><br>
typically stressed animals.<br><br><br><br>
Hill was pleasantly surprised with the results. "I've been here for 20<br><br>
years, and this is the most significant thing I've seen," she said.<br><br><br><br>
The study has brought SCRAPS and Simonet national attention. "We've<br><br>
gotten e-mails from all over the world," Hill said.

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Discussion Starter #3
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Amy SF</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><a href="" target="_blank"></a></div>
Thanks, I didn't see that before otherwise I would not have posted this.
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