ASU event explores the science behind how dogs steal our hearts

By

Skip Derra

What is it about dogs that make them so cool? Why are they so friendly with humans? How did they develop certain social skills that allow them to endear themselves to us and then engrain themselves into our lives? How did they perfect the art of begging?

These topics will be explored in “Going to the Dogs 2017,” from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, at the W. P. Carey Foundation Armstrong Great Hall in the Beus Center for Law and Society at Arizona State University's Downtown Phoenix campus. The event is free and open to the public.

“This is the third in a series of talks that explores the world of dogs and their intricate relationship with us,” said Clive Wynne, an ASU professor of psychology and director of the ASU Canine Science Collaboratory. “This time we want to get to the bottom of what makes dogs so unique, their origins and what differentiates them from wolves. Participants will hear about the latest canine science that will reveal some of the underlying mysteries of dogs.”

Speakers include:

• Elinor Karlsson of the University of Massachusetts who recently launched a citizen-science initiative called Darwin’s Dogs that invites all dog owners to participate in research exploring the genetic basis of dog behaviors that make them so loved.

• Robert Wayne of UCLA, a geneticist who studies dogs and their wild relatives as well as other aspects of how they live. Wayne, who was a leader of the consortium that first sequenced the dog genome, will provide a list of 10 things you didn’t know about dogs. 

• Greger Larson, of the University of Oxford, who combines archeological and genetic analyses to shed new light on the origins of dogs, will be talking about the first dogs in the Americas.

The event will be live streamed at: https://asunow.asu.edu/asulive.

“With an exciting line-up of top scholars, this promises to be an event dog lovers will not want to miss,” Wynne said.

The Beus Center for Law and Society is located at 111 E. Taylor St., on the Downtown Phoenix campus.