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Study: 15,000 Years of Selective Breeding Produce Sweater-Wearing Dogs

A recent study out of Montana State University found that 67 percent of Americans consider the 15,000 years humans have spent domesticating and breeding dogs “worth it” or “extremely worth it” in order to produce dogs tolerant, tiny and dependent enough to wear sweaters, booties and other dog couture.

The study surveyed over 10,000 participants about how much they valued certain outcomes of the domestication of various animals, including both pets and livestock. After dog sweaters, bacon and cat videos were the most popular, garnering 61 and 56 percent approval, respectively.

Less popular outcomes included horse girls (31 percent), hairless cats (27 percent), Garfield (11 percent) and PETA (0.3 percent).

Asked about the practical applications of the research, lead investigator Dr. Constance Levin said it spoke volumes about “the way people make value assessments - and also, you know, the universality of tiny dogs in sweaters. ‘Cause you just - you look at them and you just want to pick ‘em up and squeeze ‘em and awwwwww! It’s a dog! Wearing people clothes! But it’s a dog!”

Co-investigator Dr. Harold Shannon thinks the research could have valuable insights for animal welfare groups and animal rights activists.

“Like, the ASPCA thought they had cracked the code with those Sarah McLachlan ads,” he said. “But imagine if all those dogs were wearing little sweaters. Or little raincoats! Or, or, have you ever seen those dogs in little tuxedos? Tuxedos! It’s like, where are you going, little buddy? To a cockTAIL party? Are you a BARKitecht? I mean, look at his little bow tie!”

Dr. Levin and Dr. Shannon just received a grant to fund their latest study, an examination of the effect of dogs in hats on the moods of university researchers.


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