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TagDog Aging Project

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Senior woman with dog on a walk in an autumn nature.

Can Old Dogs Learn New Tricks? Scientists Aim To Find Out

Not much is known for sure about how dogs age. The Dog Aging Project aims to change that through systematic research programs

Founded in 2014, the Dog Aging Project has enrolled 40,000 pet dogs in an effort to understand, among other things, when dogs’ mental functioning reaches its peak and how it declines with age. Researchers at the University of Washington and Texas A&M are tackling the question via veterinary records, DNA samples, health questionnaires and cognitive tests on the dogs. Better understanding and care for aged pets is a key goal, of course: “There’s a lot we just don’t know about how dog cognition changes with age,” says comparative psychologist Evan MacLean, director of the Arizona Canine Cognition Center at the University of Arizona in Tucson and a collaborator on the Dog Aging Project. What is normal cognitive aging? Do early…