GOLDEN ROSE GOLDENROSE, Ore.
— When the dog plays fetch and gets the collar in its mouth, it is often rewarded with a big treat, according to a new study.
In the first study, dogs that were given the collar as a reward to play fetch were significantly more likely to have a gold cross in their mouths than dogs that weren’t given the reward.
A second study, however, found that dogs that received the collar for playing fetch were less likely to chew on the ring and had less of a reaction to it than dogs not given the ring.
These findings may explain why some dogs like to chew the ring but not others, the researchers said.
“There’s some genetic variability in the ring,” said study co-author Jody Koehler, a veterinary technician and associate professor at the University of Washington.
“That is, it’s more likely for a dog to have one of the genetic variants that is associated with the ring than for the other.”
Koehler and her colleagues, which included the University at Buffalo’s Josephine Hildebrand, also studied how dogs reacted to gold and white gold rings, which have a higher melting point than gold or white.
The study found that the dogs who received the ring were more likely than the dogs not to chew.
It was unclear how the ring would react to heat or the presence of other metals in the dog’s mouth, but the researchers noted that the gold ring would be likely to react differently to heat and humidity than the other two.
They also couldn’t say for certain how the dogs’ reactions to gold would be affected by their diet.
For the dogs that had the gold cross, the gold had a more pleasant taste compared to the other three items.
As for how dogs responded to the rings, Koehl said, “We think that’s due to the ring’s high melting point.
It’s a bit of a cool-tasting material.”
The study, published online March 14 in the journal PLOS ONE, was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the Eugene & Augusta Koehlers Charitable Foundation.