A London university has developed an IQ test for dogs that could pave the way for breakthroughs in our understanding of the links between intelligence and health.
The London School of Economics, along with Edinburgh University, has discovered that dog intelligence functions in a similar way to human intelligence.
Recent studies have shown smarter people tend to live longer.
If scientists can prove this is the same in dogs then they can use them to study long-term health problems such as dementia.
Dr Rosalind Arden, a research associate at the LSE said: "We asked the question, if a dog is good at one test does it tend to be better than average at the other test? And we found that yes that's true.
This is the first step in trying to develop a really snappy, reliable dog IQ test, and that has got implications that aren't obvious at first."
Sixty eight border collies were given a series of cognitive tasks, including finding their way to food behind a barrier and learning to choose a bigger portion of food.
Over a quarter of London dog owners will lose their pet at least once during the animal's lifetime according to research by the Dog's Trust. The number of stray and abandoned dogs in the capital is estimated to be more than 13,000 and last year over 1,000 strays had to be put to sleep.
The research also found that 73% of London dog owners were unaware that they only have seven days to recover a missing dog from a Local Authority before the pet is re-homed or put to sleep.
More than 10,000 dogs were however, successfully reunited with their owners with the help of microchips.
Three of Britain’s best street artists - Jim Vision, Teddy Baden and Barney Zadok - have unveiled a street art collaboration with the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, Dogs Trust, designed to take its iconic slogan “A Dog is for Life, not just for Christmas” to a wider audience.
The artists were commissioned to create their very own artistic interpretation of the charity’s iconic slogan, which celebrates its 35th anniversary this December.
With slogans appearing on the streets of London, it is hoped the art will capture the attention of passers-by, reminding them of the slogan’s importance in the run up to Christmas and ultimately stop people from ‘impulse buying’ a dog.
Hyde Park saw an amazing display of animal aquatics today. Twenty Newfoundland dogs and their handlers were showing off their life saving skills in the water, plucking swimmers from the Serpentine.It was all to help raise money for charity. Piers Hopkirk went along to see them in action.
Figures from authorities across London show that three stray dogs are put to sleep every day.
The total number of stray dogs in London has gone up from 13,832 in 2012 to 14,004 in 2013. That works out at 38 dogs being picked up every day by Local Authorities.
The results go against the national average which has shown a 6% decrease in the total number of strays collected in the UK.
James White, Campaigns Manager for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association has told ITV London that he welcome today's announcement in which owners of dangerous dogs could face between ten years and life in prison over attacks.
Proposals for a new law could see the owners of dangerous dogs jailed for life. The plans come after a report published by a charity revealed that attacks on guide dogs are at an all time high of ten every month.
Lucrezia Millarini reports:
Kevin Nugent's dog Orlando was attacked in Wembley last May by a 'dangerous' dog. The owner of the attacking dog carried on walking and disappeared. Orlando was rushed to the vets where they found eight severe puncture wounds to his neck.
Under new government proposals, owners of dangerous dogs could face life in prison.