Dog’s Mood & Behavior an Indicator of Owner’s Health

Researchers at Newcastle University have hypothesized that a dog’s mood and behavior could be an indicator of their owner’s health.

The project began when researchers developed a tracking system to monitor dogs’ activity. Using special sensors, the team can remotely monitor a dog’s entire day, from how often he sleeps, to when he sits, barks, eats, digs, plays, and more with a special waterproof collar with a built-in accelerometer designed to monitor 17 distinct dog behaviors.

According to an article in the Science Blog,

By mapping the normal behavior of a healthy, happy dog, Dr Cas Ladha, PhD student Nils Hammerla and undergraduate Emma Hughes were able to set a benchmark against which the animals could be remotely monitored. This allowed for any changes in behavior which might be an indication of illness or boredom to be quickly spotted.

The next step in their research, project lead Ladha, says, is using the dog’s behavior and activity as an indicator, or early warning system, of an elderly owner’s health and well-being.

The team is dedicated to researching and developing systems for helping the elderly live longer, healthier lives. They believe this new method of monitoring their dogs would allow family and caregivers to “discretely support people without the need for cameras,” and without invading their privacy.

The team believes that eventually the elderly will be able to outfit their dogs with the special collar, allowing their behavior to be monitored, to quickly identify changes in either the dog’s health, or the owner’s.

Does your dog behave different when you’re not feeling well, stressed, or down in the dumps? Weigh in with a comment below!

About the project, Hammerla added, “A dog’s physical and emotional dependence on their owner means that their wellbeing is likely reflect that of their owner and any changes such as the dog being walked less often, perhaps not being fed regularly, or simply demonstrating ‘unhappy’ behaviour could be an early indicator for families that an older relative needs help.”

Latest Comments
  1. Esther 10/10/2013
  2. Elaine 10/10/2013
  3. John 10/10/2013
  4. Linda Clawson 10/08/2013
  5. Helen Stroud 10/07/2013
  6. Amanda 10/07/2013
  7. Rob 10/07/2013
  8. kim lowe 10/07/2013
  9. Julie Byfield 10/07/2013
  10. liee.jett 10/07/2013
  11. annette delgau 10/07/2013
    • Carla Ratton 10/09/2013
  12. Linda 10/07/2013

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact Us    DMCA Notice    Curation Policy    Privacy Policy    Terms Of Use    Media Kit   Subscribe via RSS
×

Join the Dogington Post Mailing List. Get up-to-the-minute recall alerts plus tips, tricks and special deals! Click here.