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How well does your pet dog react to stress

Wednesday July 22nd 2015

Being put under a bit of pressure can help spur people on to achieve great things, from the star performances put in by sportsmen to the successful operations carried out by surgeons.

Now the results of new research suggest some dogs can also thrive on stress. But researchers say that just as some people fail to deal well with stress, some pets can also wilt and become hyperactive when they are put under too much pressure.

Dogs taking part in the study had to retrieve a meat treat from someone standing behind a transparent barrier by walking through one of the gaps on either side.

During the first phase of the experiment, researchers called out the dogs' names calmly and waited for them to respond. The second stage involved them calling the dog in an excited and urgent tone while waving the treat around.

While raising the pressure helped the dogs which were naturally calm get to the treat more quickly, it resulted in pets with a more excitable temperament taking even longer.

Undertaken at Duke University in the US, the research is published online in the Animal Cognition journal.

Copyright Press Association 2015