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Dog’s Mood Provides Understanding of Owner’s Health

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Monitoring a dog’s mood can offer crucial info into the wellbeing of its owner.

Researchers at Newcastle University are making use of movement sensors to track regular dog behavior when the animals are both home alone and out-and-about.

Giving a one of a kind understanding into the secret life of man’s best friend, the sensors indicate not only when the dog is on the move, but likewise how much he is barking, sitting, digging and some other major canine behaviors.

By mapping the typical behavior of a healthy, happy dog, Dr Cas Ladha, PhD student Nils Hammerla and undergraduate Emma Hughes were in a position to established a standard against which the animals could be remotely monitored.  This made possible for any modifications in behavior which may be a sign of sickness or boredom to be immediately noticed.

Presenting their conclusions at the 2013 UbiComp conference in Zurich, project lead Ladha, claims the following step is to make use of the dog’s health and behavior as a first warning system that a senior owner may be having difficulties to cope.

“A lot of our research is focused on developing intelligent systems that can help older people to live independently for longer,” describes Ladha, who is based in Newcastle University’s Culture Lab.

“But developing a system that reassures family and carers that an older relative is well without intruding on that individual’s privacy is difficult.  This is just the first step but the idea behind this research is that it would allow us to discreetly support people without the need for cameras.”

Behavior imaging expert Nils Hammerla adds: “Humans and dogs have lived together in close proximity for thousands of years, which has led to strong emotional and social mutual bonds.

“A dog’s physical and emotional dependence on their owner means that their wellbeing is likely reflect that of their owner and any changes such as the dog being walked less often, perhaps not being fed regularly, or simply demonstrating ‘unhappy’ behavior could be an early indicator for families that an older relative needs help.”

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Source: Newcastle University