Tail Docking, Ear Cropping, and Saliva: Julie Hecht on Dogs

Ph.D. student Julie Hecht (Psychology), whose “Dog Spies” blog for ScientificAmerican.com explores all things canine, recently published two intriguing essays on the welfare of pet dogs.
Tail Docking and Ear Cropping Affect Dogs, and Not Just Physically” examined the effects of common elective surgeries for Dobermans: shortening the tail and removing part of the ear. Some researchers argue that “these appearance-altering procedures are not meaningless; they affect how dogs are perceived, independent of the dog's actual behavior or personality,” Hecht wrote.
In “What 5 Liters of Spit Can Reveal about Dog Welfare,” Hecht explains what researchers have uncovered by studying salivary cortisol, an indicator of stress. “But even though researchers are up to their (metaphorical) elbows in dog spit, there’s still a lot researchers don’t know about the relationship between salivary cortisol and dog well-being,” Hecht wrote.
A canine researcher, writer, public speaker, and dog enthusiast, Hecht is a student in the GC’s Animal Behavior and Comparative Psychology training area. Her research has covered such topics as dogs’ understanding of “fairness,” olfactory preferences, dog-human play behavior, and common anthropomorphisms.
To learn more, watch a video profile.

Submitted on: JUL 28, 2016

Category: General GC News | Psychology | Student News