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Industry News,  Research News

Dogs prefer food over toys, study reveals

Nine out of 10 dogs chose a food reward over toys, new research reveals. 

The research conducted by University of Florida psychologists recruited 10 pet dogs from the local area. Each dog was shown six food items – including treats, cheese, carrots and hot dogs – and six toys, such as a tennis ball, a squeak toy, a plastic bone or a stuffed animal. Each dog then had a chance to choose their favorite food and favorite toy. Most dogs responded more strongly to the food reward. 

In another set of experiments, the dogs had to work harder and harder for their reward. The research reveled most dogs gave up earlier when offered a preferred toy reward than when given they favourite treat. 

Nicole Dorey, a lecturer in the University of Florida Department of Psychology who performed the study with her students and other collaborators, said: “I was surprised, but nobody’s looked at how dogs will work for toys versus food before.” 

The authors published their findings in the journal Animals. 

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