Are dogs left or right-handed? If you’ve noticed that your friendly dog tends to use one paw more than the other, then they probably do. Just like humans, our pets favor using their left or right hand, and findings of a recent study suggests that your dog is more likely to be right-handed!
The study published by Lincoln University suggests that dogs really do have a preferred paw or limb, otherwise known as lateralisation. During their research of nearly 18,000 dogs in the UK, results found just under 60% preferred to use their right paw when reaching out for food. Researchers believe this is beneficial in making animals more efficient at doing everyday tasks.
In fact, when the team did more analysis, they discovered that female dogs were more likely to be right-pawed than males. Results revealed 61% preferring their right hand compared to 56% of males, suggesting that hormones could be a big factor in lateralisation.
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To determine the findings, the research team noted the dog's gender and age, then asked pet owners to complete a simple food retrieval task including a tube and treat.
Following the task, they were then asked to characterize whether their dog used their left or right paw most of the time, or state that it was difficult to tell.
If you'd like to put the researcher's findings to the test for yourself at home, then all you need is a plastic or cardboard tube that's wide enough for a dog to reach into.
Place a dog treat near the end of the tube, so your pup has to use their paw to reach inside. Repeat the procedure three times and note whether your furkid is a left or right-handed dog!
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Cynthia Lawrence is freelance lifestyle journalist. Starting off her career in national magazines, she moved to digital and e-commerce publications. When she's not reviewing exciting products, she is obsessed with home interiors and her neighbour's cat!