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Pooches prefer praise to treats

Tuesday August 16th 2016

Your dog might prefer a cuddle over a treat, according to a study.

Emory University in the US is researching whether canines are socially attached to humans and finds pooches prefer praise to food.

A team of scientists conducted brain scans of 15 unrestrained dogs as they were given a treat or verbal praise.

The scans show that when praised, 13 of the 15 dogs show equal or greater levels of brain activity in the region that controls decision-making, when compared with dogs that were not given a treat.

The team also observed higher levels of brain activity in more than half of the subjects when they were praised with physical contact.

During another experiment a Y-shaped maze was setup where the dog's owner was located at one entrance and a bowl of treats sat at the other.

The team found that most of the dogs preferred to run into their owner's arms.

Copyright Press Association 2016