In Self-Control, Dogs Are Only Human

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Credit: JoAnne Haupert

In Self-Control, Dogs Are Only Human

Man andِ his bestِ friend haveِ something inِ common: Both getِ worn outِ byِ having toِ exert self-control andِ end upِ making dumb decisions, a newِ study finds.
Dogs required toِ sit andِ stay forِ 10 minutes wereِ moreِ likelyِ to approach a caged, aggressive dog thanِ when theyِ simply hadِ to wait inِ a cage forِ the sameِ amount ofِ time, according toِ theِ newِ research.
The findings reinforce theِ biological nature ofِ self-control, saidِ study researcher Holly Miller ofِ the University of Lille Nord de France.

Sit, stay and self-control

Miller andِ her colleagues hadِ previously foundِ that dogs give upِ sooner onِ a puzzle-solving task afterِ they’ve hadِ to hold a sit-stay position thanِ ifِ they didn’tِ have toِ exhibit anyِ self-control.
In theِ sameِ way, humans give upِ moreِ quickly onِ puzzle tasks whenِ they’reِ mentally fatigued byِ having toِ resist temptations beforehand.
To find out, theِ researchers hadِ 10 family-owned dogs comeِ into theِ lab forِ two variations onِ the sameِ experiment.

Impulsive dogs

The results, published online March 30 inِ the journal Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, showed a clear difference betweenِ a canine thatِ was fresh andِ one thatِ was dog-tired.
Dogs spent 58.9 percent ofِ their time inِ the portion ofِ the room closest toِ theِ angry dog’s cage afterِ the sit-stay session, compared withِ onlyِ 41.8 percent afterِ 10 minutes relaxing inِ a cage, a significant difference.
And sit inِ front ofِ it, Miller said.