Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Flyball "pawness" survey

The concept of "pawness" is familiar to people who train flyball dogs: it's the tendency of dogs to seem to prefer turning one way over the other. Many people (myself included) think it's a good idea to determine if a dog is "left-pawed" or "right-pawed" and then teach them to turn on the box in the appropriate direction to get a nice, fast turn. Now some researchers at UC-Davis are looking into the biology of "pawness," according to this e-mail I got from a flyball mailing list:

Dear Flyball Enthusiasts: The Canine Genetics group at the University of California, Davis, is interested in understanding the molecular basis of asymmetry in the context of developmental biology. A potentially elegant model of this is hand preference or "handedness".The insights of trainers and handlers of dogs competing in flyball presents a wonderful opportunity to establish the biology of "pawness" in dogs and to map the gene(s) underlying this asymmetry. We invite you to participate in an online survey informing us of your dogs' turning preference(s). The survey takes only seconds to complete and will be of great use to us in determining if the direction of choice is random or if there is indeed a biological basis for turn preference in mammals (dogs and humans alike).

Please follow the link below to complete the survey: http://www.vgl.ucdavis.edu/survey/index.php?sid=18992


The survey is only four questions and takes a minute or two to complete.

1 comment:

Pacco de Mongrel said...

i think this has to do with the lane position too..

my dog usually turn 'away' from the wall, instead of towards the wall