Research by Ragen McGowan & others at (University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden) investigates whether dogs enjoy the experience of solving a problem in order to obtain a reward, or if it is just the reward itself that makes them happy.
Rather unusually, the idea came from a study that found cattle
who completed a task to earn a reward seemed to be happier than those who just
received the reward. The design of McGowan’s study is very similar, but
adjusted for dogs.
The results show that when dogs solved the problem and
earned a reward they wagged their tails more and were more eager to repeat the
experience than if they were just given a reward. The study also found that
food was a preferred reward over time with another dog and petting from a
ugh dogs are so cute
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