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D2003-47

Dear Daisy Dog

I am in sixth grade, and I’m doing a science project. Can you tell me if dogs are right-pawed and left-pawed?

Daisy Responds

Yes, we are. Thanks for asking.

I am not aware that anyone has taken the time to learn whether most of us are right-handed (like most humans) or left-handed. But it’s clear that dogs prefer to use one side or the other, which is called handedness or laterality.
One way to determine whether more dogs are right-pawed or left-pawed, or evenly divided, is to try this test on a large number of dogs: Dangle a treat just out of reach, and record which paw each dog uses to try to reach the treat.

For information on handedness in other species, see http://abcnews.go.com/sections/scitech/
DailyNews/handedness011212.html

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