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Studying Cancer in Goldens

The Morris Animal Foundation has launched the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study to determine why the breed has a high incidence of cancer. It is recruiting 3,000 healthy, young dogs.

Dog ownership is linked to a 21 percent reduction in the risk of death for people with heart disease, according to a 12-year study published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Speech pathologist Christina Hunger of San Diego is teaching her 1-year-old Catahoula/blue heeler mix, Stella, to speak using speech therapy techniques and a custom soundboard. Hunger says Stella already knows 29 words and can form phrases.

Some dogs have night blindness, and researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and in Japan have identified the gene that is responsible. Now they are working on finding a treatment.

According to a recent study published on bioRxiv, using aversive-based training techniques such as yelling has long-term negative effects on your dog’s mental and physical state. The study says such training can result in stress-related behaviors and body postures during training, higher elevations in cortisol levels after training, and more ‘pessimistic’ attitudes in a cognitive bias task.

Mr. Smarty Pants read the above information in a book, magazine, newspaper, or website; heard it on the radio; saw it on television, or overheard it a party. Got any facts? Email them Mr. Smarty Pants for possible inclusion in the column at MrPants@AustinChronicle.com.