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ANIMAL SCIENCE

How to know if your dog is left-handed or right-handed and how it influences abilities and character

According to a study, half of dogs are right-handed and the other half are left-handed. A factor that could be related to their skills and creative ability.

Update:
According to a study, half of dogs are right-handed and the other half are left-handed. A factor that could be related to their skills and creative ability.
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Just as human beings have preferences regarding the use of the right or left hand- with the rare few being ambidextrous- dogs typically also have a better development of their limbs on one side. This is a much more important factor than usually considered, since the dominant use of one side influences skills, creative ability and character.

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Half-and-half

According to a study carried out by scientists from the University of Manchester and published on the Research Gate website, unlike what happens with humans where 90% are right-handed, half of dogs are right-handed and the other half are lefties.

However, another study carried out by scientists from the University of Lincoln published in the journal Animal Cognition revealed that the dominant hand used by the dog’s owner also affects the way the pets perform different tasks using their limbs.

The effect of the owner’s hand

In this second research, the experts analyzed the behavior of 72 dogs that were evaluated at home for 10 days, to find out which side was more developed to perform different functions.

“Left-handed owners were more likely to have dogs that used their left paw more often, and right-handed owners had dogs that tended to use their right paw more frequently,” according to the study.

Gestures such as giving the paw to the owner or stretching the paw to reach an object, denote which side is more developed. In addition, this influences their future abilities, as explained by University of Sydney veterinarian Paul McGreevy. “Laterality can affect a dog’s ability to acquire certain skills, such as becoming a guide dog.”

To train as a guide dog, according to the veterinarian, right-handed dogs demonstrate more skills compared to left-handed dogs, which stand out more in the field of creativity. Left-handed dogs show a greater ability to find solutions to the different problems that they face.

Varying opinions on the character of dogs

Another factor to take into account in a dog is its aggressiveness, and if this is related to which side of the brain was more dominant. To look into this question, a group of researchers from the University of Adelaide in Australia analyzed the behavior of more than 70 dogs by completing the Canine Behavior Assessment and Research Questionnaire.

The conclusion reached by this team was that there was a greater predisposition in left-handed dogs to develop aggressive behavior. This thesis is one that other scientists do not support or corroborate, and that they attribute to other elements. This was explained by canine ethologist Salvador López, in statements collected by the Consumer website. The environment, development and education they receive influence their more or less aggressive behavior, and not the fact that they are left-handed or right-handed”.