Puppies across Ireland to be recruited for landmark study

14 Aug 2018

Image: fivepointsix/Shutterstock

Puppies from across the Republic of Ireland are being sought after by the Dogs Trust for a major developmental study.

Loving owners of every type of puppy breed in the country are being encouraged to take part in a major study dubbed Generation Pup.

Funded by Ireland’s largest dog welfare charity, Dogs Trust, with research being conducted by scientists at the University of Bristol, the study could be one of the largest among dog breeds in Ireland for a generation.

Limited to those living in the Republic of Ireland, the research is similar to a birth cohort study in human infants where their development is analysed to develop a better public health policy.

In this instance, the study is looking for dogs of all breeds and crossbreeds, with the intention of finding whether events or environments early in life influence the development of conditions as dogs get older.

Dogs Trust said that the cut-off age for a puppy in this study is 16 weeks or younger.

Learning about our canine companions

“We are absolutely thrilled that Generation Pup is extending to puppy owners who live in the Republic of Ireland,” said Suzie Carley, executive director of Dogs Trust.

“This invaluable research will tell us so much more about our beloved canine companions, from behaviour issues to illness, and will give us a better understanding of the external factors that may dictate their entire lives.”

Continuing, she said: “Not only will this study deliver vital insights on our dogs’ development from an early age but the results could pave the way for effective preventative measures to be put in place, or lead to new approaches for therapy or treatment for our dogs.”

Peeing higher for a reason

In other dog research news, a team of researchers at Cornell University revealed that small dogs actually lift their legs at a higher angle than bigger dogs when urinating.

This is because the smaller dogs are trying to make it seem as if they are bigger than they really are.

Publishing their findings in the Journal of Zoology, the researchers said that while a dog sniffing another dog’s urine helps them learn more about each other, height can’t be determined this way.

By hitting a higher target, the smaller dog is able to trick the larger dog into thinking they are much bigger.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic