Arriva il primo smartphone

The first smartphone for cats and dogs

All owners would like to step up their checks to make sure that their dog is safe, both inside and outside their house. From Motorola comes the first hi-tech collar that allows you to monitor all of his movements with a simple click.

The name of this device is Motorola Scout 5000, with the smaller version called the Scout 2500, designed especially for cats and small dogs. It represents an innovative middle ground between a smartphone and a GPS locator.

It should be applied to the dog's collar, on the front of the animal's neck, and is equipped with a long series of tools and services.

Among these, the most innovative is undoubtedly the one that allows you to record high-definition movies whenever you want, thanks to the presence of a wide-angle HD video camera.

The device is able to boast both a Wi-Fi connection and a 3G module, to be connected even outside the home.

Thanks to the GPS sensor, moreover, it is possible to easily locate an animal that often tends to move away from home, but you can also use it to find out what they do during their solitary walks.

Among the most curious services offered by the Scout 5000 and 2500, there is also the possibility of communicating directly with your pet thanks to short voice messages.

The launch price announced by Motorola is $ 199 for the Scout 5000 and $ 99 for the Scout 2500.

This is undoubtedly an excellent idea to always stay connected with your four-legged friend



immagine In caso di incidente è obbligatorio soccorrere l'animale

In case of an accident we must rescue our pet

The long list of measures in favour of our four-legged friends continues, also as regards to the behaviour to be taken on the streets. In 2011, in fact, the Highway Code was updated with a fundamental paragraph, which obliges anyone who causes an accident against a dog or cat to give assistance.

I cani comprendono il nostro linguaggio, uno studio lo rivela

Dogs can understand our language, a study reveals it

According to a recent study published in "Current Biology", dogs would be able to understand human language, setting in motion a whole series of actions from the neurological point of view to be able to decipher what we are telling them.

Let's face it. We all talk to our dog or cat, some only in private, some also in public. We confide in him our thoughts, praise him with endorsements and nicknames invented on the spot, and we often ask him about his moods. It is no coincidence we refer to them as friends.

In particular, dogs seem the most involved in our conversations, which apparently may seem "crazy" by someone who is not lucky enough to live with a pet.

In fact, when we talk to the dog, he observes us carefully and is ready to rotate his head, as if he were approving our speech.

From today, you can show this article to all your friends who make fun of you every time they see you communicating with your pet. Let's find out why.

According to the study published in "Current Biology", in fact, it would seem that dogs are really able to get as close as possible to our language.

The confirmation comes from some neurological tests carried out, in an absolutely cruelty-free way, on some domestic dogs. According to the outcome of these tests, some areas of the dog's brain would activate to process the sounds emitted by humans.

The mechanism behind listening and understanding could be very similar in humans and dogs.

In both cases, in fact, the brain is divided into two parts, called hemispheres, right and left. When someone talks to us, the left part tries to connect a linguistic meaning to the sound of words, while the right part combines the sound to emotions and sensations.

In a nutshell, if the teacher scolds a child, the left hemisphere will understand the meaning of the words used to blame him, whilst the right hemisphere will allow the child to be informed that the teacher's voice is angry.

At this point, it is important to introduce the concept of the hemispherical "bias": in humans, the sounds perceived with the right ear are sent to the left hemisphere and vice versa, with a sort of exchange of information.

It is on this concept that the whole study is based on.

In fact, it has been shown that the dog's brain also carries out this exchange of information, made possible by the "bias". Consequently, by making him listen to a sound, the dog will turn his head to the right if he wants to receive the information with the left hemisphere, the one responsible for the meaning, and vice versa to the left if he wants to receive the information with the right hemisphere, responsible instead emotional listening.

This is the most accredited theory so far believed that dogs are able to receive sounds exclusively from an emotional point of view. An angry voice is equivalent to a rebuke, while a cheerful tone to something positive.

During the experiment, the dog was placed in front of a device that emitted sounds with different intensity.

By eliminating the modulation of the voice, until an expressionless sound is obtained, the dog turned his head to the right, receiving the information with the left hemisphere, just the one that is needed to decipher the linguistic meaning of the words.

The result, therefore, has discredited the most common theory, leading us to discover that the dog is truly capable of understanding our voice.


immagine I cani riescono ad imitare le espressioni degli altri animali

Animals can imitate expressions

This was revealed by an all-Italian study conducted by a team of ethologists from the University of Pisa: Elisabetta Palagi, Velia Nicotra and Giada Cordoni. The result of the research was published on December 2015 in the prestigious British magazine Royal Society Open Science and quickly travelled around the world.

The concept of "emotional contagion" represents a very simple form of communication that belongs to the sphere of empathy, a term by which represents the ability to identify and understand the moods of other individuals. According to what emerged from the study, "emotional contagion can be related to facial mimicry, a rapid and automatic response (less than 1 second) in which individuals tend to involuntarily imitate the expressions of others".

Emotional contagion and the imitation of facial mimicry are not necessarily associated, as Dr. Palagi explains, but they could also occur independently to each other. This ability, which is not so frequent in humans, would be found in some animals, such as monkeys and recently in dogs.

The research was conducted in August 2012, observing a group of dogs intent on playing in a public park in Palermo, filming everything for about 3 hours a day. The owners were asked not to interfere in any way with their dogs, allowing each game session to start and end independently, except in the event of an attempted assault.

cane inchino gioca

In the course of the research, two important aspects were taken as a reference: facial expression and posture. Not surprisingly, in fact, the typical attitudes of the dog during the game are precisely the expression of the relaxed face, with the mouth open, and the bow gesture. However, other playful behaviours such as biting or jumping were not overlooked. During each session, the researchers took note of the identity of each subject and the game patterns put in place (duration, type of relationship established with the other animal, sequence of events).

At the end of the observation, it was found that the dogs are able to imitate the facial mimicry of the other animals in an extremely rapid manner (just one second), immediately after observing the two typical attitudes of the game (open and relaxed mouth, bow). On the contrary, the "jump" and "bite" signals are not able to stimulate an equally rapid reaction.

Another important fact that emerged concerns the social relationship between individuals. In fact, the entire group of animals was divided into three categories - friends, acquaintances and strangers - based on the frequency of social interactions. It emerged, therefore, that facial mimicry is evoked in a more efficient and lasting way especially among dogs with a stronger social relationship, that is, between friends and acquaintances.

"In conclusion - as Dr. Palagi states - the results showed the presence of rapid mimicry in dogs, the involvement of mimicry in sharing the intention to play and the social modulation of this phenomenon. All these aspects contribute to the idea that it is possible to identify a link between rapid mimicry and emotional contagion in dogs ".

Furthermore, we must think that the ability to "read" the expressions and moods of others is a typical talent of social individuals. Therefore, we can say that dogs are getting closer and closer to the evolutionary passage that brings them in all respects to man's own behaviours.


immagine La chiave del legame uomo-cane è nello sguardo

The key to our bond with our pet are the looks

Finally, no one will be able to make fun of all the owners who consider and treat their dogs as children. To redeem them is the discovery that the deep bond at the basis of the man-dog relationship is induced by oxytocin, whose production is stimulated simply by looking into the eyes.

This was stated by a recent article published by the journal "Science" ("Oxytocin-gaze positive loop and the coevolution of human-dog bonds") on the study conducted by the team of researchers led by dr. Miho Nagasawa from Azabu University in Sagamihara, Japan.

Oxytocin is a hormone produced by the hypothalamus, a specific area of ​​our brain, to be released into the circulation by the pituitary gland, a very important gland that regulates the main endocrine reactions. This hormone has several functions, among which the best known - especially among women - is that related to pregnancy. Oxytocin, in fact, is released when the foetus is ready to come out, and intervenes by stimulating the contractions of the uterus essential for childbirth. In addition, it also induces the establishment of the unique bond between mother and child immediately after birth. Specifically, during breastfeeding, the stimulation of the nipple by the newborn stimulates the release of oxytocin, which consequently determines the increase in prolactin, another important hormone underlying the production of breast milk. But that's not all, because in recent years it has been shown that oxytocin - and consequently also prolactin - are freed from the mother also by simply listening to the cry of a newborn baby, smelling its characteristic clean odour and even looking into his eyes. In conclusion, if "a mother is always a mother" it is thanks to the role of oxytocin.

Another important mechanism mediated by this hormone is falling in love, it is also known as the "love hormone". In essence, the classic "love at first sight" exists, and is it triggered by the same endocrine event underlying the relationship between mother and child.

Thanks to the research of the Nagasawa team, it is now known that the base of these special bonds that unite man and dog or mother and son is the release of oxytocin. Concisely, when our dog gives us his wonderful sweetheart looks, he is reinforcing his bond with us, and vice versa.

According to the study, moreover, oxytocin could also influence the dog's ability to recognize our voice or our steps, and even the ability to decipher the messages of the different types of looks, such as a serene, determined, frightened or angry.

sguardo cane cucciolo



Excessive caresses can stress your cat

Let's talk about news that most cat lovers will tend to refuse. In the past days, a new discovery has been announced on the behaviour of felines, according to which cuddles and caresses stress cats.

Everyone knows that felines are rather shy and independent animals, although many owners are ready to swear that cats love cuddling. In reality, this is also true, because numerous studies have managed to show that cats appreciate coexistence with humans and other animals, whilst remaining rather solitary creatures.

This aspect has been significantly expanded in recent days by a study conducted by the British University of Lincoln, the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil and the University of Veterinary Medicine in Austria, sponsored by Ceva Animal Health. The study managed to demonstrate that excessive pampering can stress the cat.

gatto stressato coccole

The animals were examined in the home environment alone, in couples and in groups of three or four, precisely evaluating the levels of the stress hormone in each situation.

At the end of the study they noticed that younger cats who lived alone were more stressed than those placed in larger groups.

The reason could be related - as Professor Daniel Mills of the University of Lincoln suggests - to the fact that “although they usually live alone in nature, many cats gather when resources such as food are concentrated in a single area, for example when people feed stray colonies. However, meeting together out of necessity is stressful for them, because they are not naturally sociable animals”.

In any case, this aspect may not be so negative. According to prof. Mills, in fact, "it seems that even if they are not best friends, cats may be able to organize themselves in order to avoid each other without stress".

The key point of the research, however, is certainly related to the owner's pampering. According to what emerged from the study, "cats that tolerate rather than appreciate or despise pampering are the most stressed". Clearly, a cat who finds pampering pleasant will not be negatively affected by the attentions of the owner. On the contrary, a cat that does not like hugs and caresses will be able to respond by subtracting and moving away. These are the most stressed cats, probably because they feel deprived of their personal space.

The basic concept therefore always remains the same: cats do not like excessive attention from humans or other animals, unless they request this themselves. The confirmation of this statement certainly comes from the fact that often, when they decides that the pampering session is enough they push us away.