Undergraduate Research: Do dogs have self-control?

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Steph hopes that her study could help in developing a quick impulsivity test that could be done in animal shelters or veterinary offices. “Prospective owners could choose a dog at the shelter that fits their ability to deal with different levels of self-control,” said AuBuchon. “If the vet can tell the dog’s owner that he or she might be a handful, the owner would be more prepared to deal with the dog’s behavior. Overall, this study is the foundation for helping dogs find forever homes and not be turned over to shelters.” Knowing that she could be helping reduce those shelter populations has been the greatest reward of the experience, AuBuchon says.

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