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Posted on 12-18-2017
Dogs and cats enthrall us with their behavior. We love to watch them play and interact with us and each other. Some of their behavior traits are largely species-oriented; think dog tail-wagging or cat pouncing. And some behaviors, like “smiling” in dogs, even seem to mimic human behaviors. So here’s a question to ponder: can dogs and cats be right- or left-“handed”, like humans?
According to multiple studies, the answer seems to be yes! While I don’t want to bore you with a lot of study references or statistics, the numbers are interesting. One study showed that about 50% of pet cats are right-pawed, 40% are left-pawed, and 10% are ambidextrous, meaning they use both paws with equal skill and frequency. Another study found that dogs tend to be more evenly split than cats, with 50% being left-pawed and 50% right-pawed. And how do humans compare? About 90% of us are right-handed, 10% left-handed and less than 1% ambidextrous.
While being left-dominated does not seem to present the challenge for pets that it can for humans, knowing whether a pet is right-or left-pawed might be significant for training purposes. And, honestly, it’s just kind of cool to know. It might mean that you and your pet have one more thing in common!
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