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Dogs steal more in the dark, says new study. My cat suggests otherwise (+video)

German an British researchers – with a lot of food for bait – have concluded dogs steal more food in the dark. One dog-and-cat owner is skeptical: Cats may be framing the dogs.

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Back to the study and dogs that are actually trained and bilingual, because assuming the dogs speak human and German Human was just given. They also, hilariously, assumed that, “It is unlikely that the dogs simply forgot that the human was in the room when she was not illuminated.”

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Lisa Suhay, who has four sons at home in Norfolk, Va., is a children’s book author and founder of the Norfolk (Va.) Initiative for Chess Excellence (NICE) , a nonprofit organization serving at-risk youth via mentoring and teaching the game of chess for critical thinking and life strategies.

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I could not compose myself after reading that line because my collie-poodle “cadoodle” dog greets me like I've just walked in the front door when I leave the room to get a cup of coffee and return. “Hey! You're here! I can't get over it,” is what he seems to say as he recovers from the shock. 

So while dogs may indeed be more prone to dark deeds when the lights are off, the next time anybody does a study about food being swiped in the dark where a dog is taking the fall for the crime, I think they should first check the building for cat burglars.

In the interest of science, I called my friend Arthur Bowman of Norfolk State University's biology department and director of Science Everywhere LLC (an educational consulting group) and asked him to read the study and give me his cursory impressions. “Well, the thing about dogs is not really their eyes so much as their sense of smell,” he explained over coffee this morning. “Dogs have about 20-square-inches of surface area for smell receptors, while we humans only have about one-half a square-inch.

Dr. Bowman added, “This was a hard-to-repeat study because what's dark to one person may not be dark to another and may not be dark at all to a dog.

“Also, dogs being trained is a big variable because dogs are all over the place in terms of their conditioning,” he said. For this one biologist it came down to “too many variables.” 

That's the whole dog ballgame right there, especially for those who recently watched the Westminster Dog event and saw dogs that are at the top of their game and well-bred failing to follow a simple “Aus” or Nein” on stage.

Having a canine companion, I was perhaps a bit more drawn to what folks in Portsmouth, UK and Leipsig, Germany name their dogs and so I loved reading the names of the “participant” canines and trying to guess from which location they hailed. Give it a try: Baska, Luna, Alina, Pepe, Amy, Wolf, Richard, Juri, Chico, Rocky, Thyson, Kimi, Lucie, Jazz, Merlin, Loki, Alma, Baghira, Asta, Max, Rudi, Jerry–Lee, Zosi, Jack, Stoffel, Bacardi, Ronja, Mean, Median, and Quartile.

In our house, no matter what the lighting conditions, poor old Wag is continually framed by our two cats Bella and Cat2 for food theft. Yesterday I caught Cat2 as she dragged a plastic bag (with three bagels she'd been trying to gnaw) off the dining room table and over to the spot on the floor where Wag slept.


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