Essential Reads

Judging Rover—Who's a Good Dog?

How do you measure your dog's worth? A look at what's truly important.

Why Was the Gorilla Harambe Killed at the Cincinnati Zoo?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 30, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Harambe was killed to save a 4-year-old boy who fell into his cage. Numerous people are outraged and saddened by this tragedy.

Shark Personalities: A Shark Isn't a Shark Isn't a Shark

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 29, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Individual personalities among members of the same species are widespread and must be considered when we talk casually about "the shark," "the dog," or any other animals.

How to enjoy life (more)

Lessons I learned as a spy for U.S. Intelligence

More Posts on Animal Behavior

Are Dogs Who Live with Smokers More Likely to Get Cancer?

A variety of cancers that appear in dogs can be traced back to living in a household which includes cigarette smokers.

Should Grizzlies in the Yellowstone Area Be Trophy Hunted?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 28, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Iconic grizzly bears in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks may soon be put in the cross-hairs of trophy hunters if they are removed from the Endangered Species Act.

Hugging a Dog Is Just Fine When Done With Great Care

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 28, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Dogs are not all unconditional lovers nor sponges for hugs, but saying "Don't ever hug a dog" is over the top given what we know.

On Comparisons Between Dogs and Wolves: What We Really Know

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 27, 2016 in Animal Emotions
In two recent books about dogs: Beliefs don’t substitute for facts.

Launching Into Multi-Dimensional Thinking

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on April 26, 2016 in The Dolphin Divide
Can we tap into "three-dimensional" thinking?

How Dogs Help Men in the Dating Market

What makes dog owners more attractive romantic partners?

What Does It Feel Like to Be a Honeybee?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 20, 2016 in Animal Emotions
A new essay raises intriguing questions about which animals are conscious.

Why We're Throwing Our Doggie a Birthday Party

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on April 20, 2016 in How To Do Life
Life lessons from musing on the celebration of Einstein's 10th year here

What Zoos Need to Do for Zoo’d Animals

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 16, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Zoos must stop playing “musical animals” and "musical semen" and stop “zoothanizing” healthy animals whom they consider to be "surplus" or "useless" individuals.

How Steph Curry is Like a Bat

By Ari Berkowitz Ph.D. on April 14, 2016 in Governing Behavior
The best point guards can pass to a teammate they can't see. Bats can track both other bats and insects, using specialized brain circuits.

Double Mother Suckers

By David P. Barash Ph.D. on April 09, 2016 in Pura Vida
You might have noticed that people aren’t elephant seals. But a close look at these creatures reveals a lot about male-female differences in our own species.

As Smart Emotional Apes We're Not Alone So Let's Get Over It

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 08, 2016 in Animal Emotions
An essay by researcher Frans de Waal makes us rethink and re-feel who we are and who other animals are. Research clearly shows the gulf between them and us is rapidly narrowing.

How the Visual Abilities of Dogs Change With Age

New data shows that vision in dogs changes with age, with a trend toward becoming significantly more nearsighted.

Why Does My Dog Bite Me When He Approaches Me to Be Petted?

You think Fido loves you until he eagerly approaches you for love and then BAM - he bites you. Find out one very common reason for why Fido may do this.

Bird Minds: An Outstanding Book About Australian Natives

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 04, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Gisela Kaplan's encyclopedic book "Bird Minds" is a must read. You'll learn about crafty tool users, highly cooperative animals, thieves and sneaks, and wide-ranging emotions.

Are Cats Making Some People Aggressive?

A new study find evidence that the common cat parasite toxoplasma gondii is present at higher rates in very aggressive people.

Why We Settle for Less While Wanting More

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on March 28, 2016 in The Dolphin Divide
How mental habit keeps us from fulfilling our desires. What to do after becoming a bit too accustomed to unacceptable circumstances.

The Psychology of "Saving the World" in the Anthropocene

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 27, 2016 in Animal Emotions
"The Adventures of Mr. Marigold" is a wide-ranging, encyclopedic novel that is very much about anthrozoology (the study of human-animal relationships) in the anthropocene.

Is "A Life Worth Living" a "Good Life" for Other Animals?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 26, 2016 in Animal Emotions
The phrase "A life worth living" is slowly creeping into discussions of animal welfare and is often used to replace the phrase a "good life." This is a condescending move.

“Dominance” in Dogs—Again

Misunderstandings about dominance continue to abound in canine science, not just in dog training.

Animal Reunions: A PBS Film on the Power of Trust and Love

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 24, 2016 in Animal Emotions
This outstanding film has incredibly moving scenes and discussions about humans and formerly captive animals reuniting after years apart. It will air on PBS on March 30, 2016.

Country Birds Don't Get It: City Bullfinches Are Smarter

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 23, 2016 in Animal Emotions
A new study shows city life changes cognition, behavior, and physiology. According to dating site farmersonly.com, "City folks just don't get it." Well, city birds clearly do.

In Dog Attacks Is the Problem Bad Dogs or Bad Owners?

According to an Angus Reid survey public opinion is against banning specific breeds and tends to blame owners for bad dogs.

85% of Americans Support Animal Protection: A Positive Shift

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 20, 2016 in Animal Emotions
There have been positive shifts in attitudes toward animal protection and conservation psychology, conservation social work, and anthrozoology can lead the way forward.

Food Justice and Personal Rewilding as Social Movements

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 19, 2016 in Animal Emotions
The profit-driven animal-industrial food complex is replete with significant violations of justice. Despite claims to the contrary, "food animals" suffer as they're being killed.

The World Becomes What We Teach: Humane Education Is Key

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 18, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Renowned humane educator Zoe Weil's new book called "The World Becomes What We Teach" should be required reading for everyone especially all educators. It is a game changer.

Fish Determine Social Status Using Advanced Cognitive Skills

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 17, 2016 in Animal Emotions
New research shows fish show enhanced cognitive skills and infer the social status of others of unknown status and may predict their own relationship to the unknown individuals.

Are Dogs Purchased From Pet Stores More Aggressive?

Puppies bought from pet shops are more likely to develop owner directed aggression than those that come from breeders.

An End to Orca Breeding and Swimming With Dolphins?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 17, 2016 in Animal Emotions
SeaWorld to end captive breeding of orcas, phase out shows, help rescue and rehabilitate animals, and change their menus. Conservation psychologists can help make further changes.

Secret Flight of Swaziland Elephants Avoids Legal Challenge

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 13, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Seventeen elephants were quietly sent to the U.S. to avoid legal challenge. The psychology of dismissing those concerned as animal rights activists is self-serving and misleading.