Essential Reads

How People Perceive Dogs With Docked Tails and Cropped Ears

New data shows that seeing a dog with a docked tail and cropped ears may cause people to believe that the dog is aggressive and its owner might be aggressive as well.

How a Cultural Meme Was Born

New insights into the origin of language as a mandrill in an English zoo invents a gesture for "leave me alone," and it spreads through the community

Can Your Dog Help You Get Dates?

Your reaction to your own dog and your date's dog may determine how attractive you appear to a potential partner.

What We Learn From Our Pets

By Dan Mager MSW on June 13, 2016 in Some Assembly Required
Simply having pets can have wonderful therapeutic value.

More Posts on Animal Behavior

The Psychology of Human-Nonhuman Selfies: Why the Epidemic?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 24, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Why do people want pictures of themselves with other animals that harm the animals? The "selfie phenomenon" is getting out of hand and according to some, is an epidemic.

Thunderstorm Phobia in Dogs

By Nicholas Dodman on June 24, 2016 in Dog Days
Does your dog panic during thunderstorms? Find out why and what to do about it.

Giving Back

There is a direct correlation between the amount of quality time you spend with your dog and your dog's behavior and happiness.

Hungry vs. Loyal: Ramsay's Hounds on the Hierarchy of Needs

Game of Thrones villain Ramsay Bolton suggests that he will feed his foes to his ravenous hounds, dogs he believes loyal to himself. Can dogs follow humans' hierarchy of needs?

What We Learn From Furry Felines

From ancient Egypt to our modern homes, cats have taught us to enjoy the moment and to live with emotional honesty. Here's a look at the human-feline bond over the millennia.

Pack Leadership for Your Family

You know you can go to Super Nanny for parenting advice, but The Dog Whisperer also can help you become a pack leader for your family!

Coyote America: The Evolution of Human-Animal Relationships

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 16, 2016 in Animal Emotions
A new book on coyotes is a well-researched study of human-animal relationships and how they have changed for the worst in an increasingly human dominated world.

Draymond vs The King

Aggression among apes involves a conspicuous target.

Fishes Recognize Human Faces: Why the Empathy Gap?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 15, 2016 in Animal Emotions
More and more research shows just how smart and emotional fishes truly are.

What Is the Best Way to Stop a Dog Fight?

When dogs are fighting your most instinctive method of trying to get them to stop will likely get you injured, but there are some safer ways to break up a fight.

When Tiger Leaps

By G.A. Bradshaw PhD, PhD on June 14, 2016 in Bear in Mind
Not unthinking killing machines. Not running on pure, raw instinct. Not a myth. The captive Tiger captures our attention, demanding an answer: Why?

New Proof That We Consider Dogs to Be Family Members

Research focused on how we confuse the names of individuals shows that dogs are stored in the same portion of our memory as our family members.

The Harambe Effect: The Legacy of a Gorilla Provocateur

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 07, 2016 in Animal Emotions
In the aftermath of killing the gorilla Harambe, conservation psychologists and anthrozoologists can play a large role in being sure he didn't die in vain.

Do Animal-Assisted Interventions Work, and For Whom?

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on June 05, 2016 in How To Do Life
A The Eminents interview with Aubrey Fine and David Williams.

Pit Bulls: The Psychology of Breedism, Fear, and Prejudice

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 02, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Bronwen Dickey's new book "Pit Bull: The Battle Over an American Icon" is a thorough analysis of how these highly variable dogs became transformed into dangerous fiends.

The Making of Disgust

Disgust appears to be unique to humans. How did our species develop this emotion—and why are we the only creatures repulsed by cockroaches and maggots?

What We Should Learn From the Shooting Death of Harambe

By Denise Cummins Ph.D. on May 31, 2016 in Good Thinking
Why not capitalize on primate intelligence to develop a strategic training response to this kind of situation to avoid tragedies like Harambe's shooting death in the future?

Killing Harambe: Who Was Protecting Whom?

By Joe Pierre M.D. on May 31, 2016 in Psych Unseen
Moral outrage is swift, retributive, and often based on limited information and context.

Leashes...

The tools you use to walk a dog can make walking a pleasant or unpleasant experience for both of you. A lot of communication happens at both ends of the leash.

How to Deal With People Who Drain Your Energy

Natural selection built a brain that seeks safety in numbers. Instead of spending all of your energy on the needs of others, you can start feeling good about focusing on yourself.

Are There Really Lucky and Unlucky Pet Names?

Data from over a half-million pet insurance claims finds that some pet's names are more likely to be associated with accidents and mishaps

New Brain Maps Capture Parenting Behavior in Vivid Snapshots

A revolutionary neuroimaging technique was introduced this week. The new brain maps create vivid snapshots that illustrate how various "parental regions" of the brain operate.

Personal Space

By Nicholas Dodman on May 26, 2016 in Dog Days
Do animals always appreciate or tolerate personal space invaders?

Warming to the Sensual Touch: The Science of Foreplay

How individual notions of reward can change over time. The art of foreplay lies in knowing when and how much – and can lead to deeply meaningful relationships.

Dogs Hesitate More and Respond Less Well When You Are Upset

Your emotional state can cause your dog to hesitate or to execute your instructions less accurately.

Why Dogs Belong Off-Leash: It's Win-Win for All

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 25, 2016 in Animal Emotions
A recent essay argues it's best for dogs and humans for dogs to be off-leash as long as people are responsible for their dog. Research shows too many people are not.

More Than ‘Man’s Best Friend’

It is true that dogs play a major role in society; from their formal professions as work dogs to their important roles as companions, dogs touch and help many lives.

People Who Prefer Dogs to Humans

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on May 23, 2016 in How To Do Life
A surprising number do...and it may not be so irrational.

We Don't Know if Dogs Feel Guilt So Stop Saying They Don't

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 22, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Myths about dog behavior abound. Individual differences must be appreciated and it's essential to get things right so dogs and humans can live together as harmoniously as possible.
J. Brasse

K-9s and Cops: A Softer Side

Law enforcement agencies that attend to the nuances of human-dog psychology will get best results and higher satisfaction from their K-9 units.