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Official: dogs laugh too

Scientists at the Sierra Nevada medical faculty in the USA have proven that dogs laugh with pleasure on their favourite occasions.

Animal behaviour professor Patricia Simonet declared that untrained people would not distinguish a “Woof” from a “laugh” and that the canine equivalent of a raucous laugh would be taken for simply loud barking.However, after tests on the type of barks produced on different occasions, Professor Simonet declared that special types of bark were produced on occasions pleasurable to the dog under experiment. “This particular vocalisation is used exclusively during playing time or meetings with persons considered friendly”.The studies revealed that dogs produce a wide variety of sounds when they are happy. “The study suggests that pet dogs have a vast and varied repertoire of vocalisations, among barks, howls, groans and growls…Now we are studying the canine vocalisations with ultra-sound to see if we are missing anything,” the specialist added.Next time your dog barks, it could be trying to tell you something. Instead of Bow! Wow! it could be Woof! Woof!Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY


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12/2008 02/2009

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