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Are Dogs Right-Handed or Left-Handed? Find Out What Researchers Say

Dogs are the common pet we all have in our households. Most people desire dogs for companionship. The connection we feel towards them might be even stronger than the ones we feel for human companies. It may be because dogs don't judge us, or they answer back or lie to us – in reality, they provide much-needed comfort for many people. Despite these facts, can we really say that we know well the facts about our dogs? Do we know the preference of our dogs when it comes to handedness?

Studies of animals imply that "handedness" is a key characteristic of all mammals.

According to a certain study, dogs are more likely to prefer one paw over the other than to be ambidextrous - to display no favoured paw, with 68 percent of canines showing either left- or right-sided paw preference. However, unlike humans who are commonly right-handed, there is no preferred paw among dogs as a whole. Instead, paw preference is believed to differ between dogs.

While many dogs seem to favor one paw over another, the foot they prefer may change based on the task at hand. One study found that the distribution of preferred paws was roughly equal, with some liking either the left, right, or both paws. On the other hand, on monotonous tasks, like the owner asking for a hand, canines seemed to have a more definite preference for one paw over the other instead of showing an ambidextrous response.

But why is it important to know which paw our dog favors? According to one research, paw preference is a good technique for evaluating emotional functioning and psychological well-being in both dogs and even cats. The processing of positive emotions takes place in the left part of a dog's brain, whereas anxiety-inducing negative emotions are given priority on the right side.

Thus, observing which paw your dog prefers can help you understand how your dog is feeling emotionally.

Source: Yahoo! Life, IFLScience

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