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Jun 23, 2009

"Lots of people talk to animals. ... Not very many listen, though. ... That's the problem." --Benjamin Hoff

The Compassion of Dogs

For centuries, humans have imagined that they are the only animals with morals. But humans are not alone in the moral arena, a new breed of behavior experts says. Natural historian Jake Page said some scientists are acknowledging what pet owners have told their canines all along: "Good dog." Dogs are full of natural goodness and have rich emotional lives, said animal behaviorist Marc Bekoff, professor emeritus at the University of Colorado, Boulder. A dog's code of ethics is on display daily in parks, backyards and family rooms. "We're not trying to elevate animals," Bekoff said. "We're not trying to reduce humans. We're not saying we're better or worse or the same. We're saying we're not alone in having a nuanced moral system."

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