Skip to main content

Rudy the Science Dog Is Living A Science-Based Life For the Most Pawsitive Experience


There are some basic accommodations a lot of people know a dog needs in their life: Food, water, socialization, exercise, etc. But what if you were to raise your dog based entirely on the scientific theories of what a dog needs to live its happiest life? That’s what the life of Rudy — a staghound being raised by a canine researcher — looks like right now. Mia Cobb, who recently rescued Rudy, is using the knowledge she’s gleaned from peer-reviewed studies to raise her dog, and she’s documenting it on her blog Do You Believe In Dog. As she told The Huffington Post:

I think any dog that came to live with us would be “raised with science,” but as the first puppy in our home in 14 years, I see raising Rudy as an opportunity to apply all that I’ve learned about dogs to him, like a diet of science!

And yes, Rudy’s life looks doglightful.

As for the science Cobb is using to inform her raising of this fine pup, here’s what she told HuffPo:

[We] checked his preference for positive reinforcement. Research has shown that dogs tend to prefer food, then petting, then verbal praise and human company (see: Behavioural Processes and the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior). [It also shows] that dogs can learn good or bad behaviors from observing each other (see: Applied Animal Behaviour Science and Developmental Psychobiology), so there is great value in having an older ‘model’ dog to demonstrate good behaviors to a new or young dog. Rudy loves play with a tug toy and food as first choice reinforcers, and we’re fortunate to have a very experienced friend with an exemplary Doberman dog named Kade with whom we catch up with regularly. Kade acts in part almost like a guiding chaperone for Rudy on lovely off leash walk adventures, helping us set Rudy up for successful situations (like returning when called) that we can reinforce positively.

I’d say that most of us who stay relatively aware of what makes for healthy or happy lives apply varying degrees of scientific theory to our everyday lives and the lives our children and pets — Cobb and her family are just doing it more literally and thoroughly than a lot of people.

If you ask me Rudy should definitely hang out with Klinker the bee hero. In fact, I’m just sayin’ they should probably star together in an educational and heart-warming adventure film that eventually gets turned into an animated series.

You can (and should!) read Cobb’s full interview over at The Huffington Post.

(via Huffington Post)

Are you following The Mary Sue on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, & Google +?

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Alanna is a pop culture writer who works as the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, an entertainment writer for Bustle, and a freelancer for everywhere. She has a lot of opinions about Harry Potter and will 100% bully you into watching the shows that she loves. Don't worry, it's a sign of friendship.