Essential Reads

Trumping Animals and Their Homes: Seeing Light in Dark Times

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 23, 2017 in Animal Emotions
It's a tough time for animals. We need to overcome negativity, resist compassion and empathy fatigue, maintain hope, and keep our dreams alive.

Why Are Crowded City Dwellers Living the Slow Life?

The big city means the fast life, unrestricted sexuality, street gangs, and hordes of uncaring people. Right? Maybe not, according to a recently published series of studies.

Two Captive Elephants Save a Youngster From Drowning

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 22, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A 45-second video of a young elephant named Hope being saved by two adults could change people's views about the emotional lives of other animals. Watch them keep Hope alive.

Aggression and Fear Can Be Reduced in Specific Dog Breeds

New data provides a possible alternative to breed-specific legislation to control aggression and fearfulness in dogs.

More Posts on Animal Behavior

Why Men Trophy Hunt: Showing Off and the Psychology of Shame

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 28, 2017 in Animal Emotions
If the "hunting for status" hypothesis is correct, then shaming could be an effective strategy for those opposed because shaming tends to erode the status that trophy hunters seek.

Why Do Dogs React to Cats?

Is it the sight of the cat, the sound of a cat, or the smell of a cat that excites dogs the most? The answer might surprise you.

Animals Need More Freedom, Not Bigger Cages

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 28, 2017 in Animal Emotions
As the late Tom Regan stressed, "...the only adequate moral response to vivisection is empty cages, not larger cages." Animals in all human dominated venues need more freedom.

Does Fixing Pets Need Fixing?

A new book on the ethics of keeping companion animals raises many hitherto undebated issues.

The Inner Life of Cats Reveals Fascinating Feline Secrets

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 28, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A new book called The Inner Life of Cats blends science and stories and shows that these fascinating, mysterious animals are sentient individuals who are loving and social beings.

The Animals' Agenda: An interview About Animal Well-Being

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 25, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A new book titled "The Animals' Agenda: Freedom, Compassion, and Coexistence in the Human Age" argues animal welfare needs to be replaced with the science of animal well-being.

How Much Solidarity Do You Feel With Animals?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on March 23, 2017 in Animals and Us
A new scale helps researchers study why some people identify with animals and others despise them.

Pets of the Homeless: Attachment Figures and Social Support

By Zazie Todd Ph.D. on March 23, 2017 in Fellow Creatures
Why do homeless people have pets? It turns out that homeless youth with pets are less depressed and lonely than those without, but pets bring disadvantages too.

Bowsers on Botox: Dogs Get Eye Lifts, Tummy Tucks, and More

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 23, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Just when you think you've heard it all, we learn dogs get face lifts, lip tucks, and testicular implants as part of a thriving industry to make them more lovable and cuddly.

Why Would a Chimpanzee Use a Tool to Clean a Corpse's Teeth?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 18, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A novel observation of a female chimpanzee cleaning a corpse's teeth raises many fascinating questions. This discovery forces us to consider what other animals know about death.

Not Just Walking the Dog

A new study help us see what dog walking reveals about human-animal relationships and negotiations of power.

Dog Owners Are Wrong About the Health Benefits of Raw Diets

Despite dog owners' beliefs that raw animal product dog foods are healthier data suggests that they are unsafe.
Bill Davidow

Why Dogs Don’t Use The Internet

By Bill Davidow on March 13, 2017 in Psychology of the Virtual World
What we can learn from dogs about managing the internet.

Animal Behavior and Social Media

By David Dillard-Wright Ph.D. on March 12, 2017 in Boundless
What can we learn about human online behavior by watching other species? Social interaction has the potential for both peace-making and aggression.

Beasts of Burden: Disability and Animal Liberation Revisited

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 12, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A new book by disability and animal activist Sunaura Taylor, clearly outlines the close relationship between these two movements that deal with marginalized and vulnerable beings.

A Man and His Dog

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on March 09, 2017 in How To Do Life
A short-short story

The Lube Effect: Dogs Foster Cooperation and Trust in Humans

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 08, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A new study shows dogs serve as social lubricants to help people get along better. When a dog is present, humans are friendlier, more trusting, more active, and more enthusiastic.

Do Dogs Ever Lie to or Try to Deceive People?

New data shows that dogs are capable of being deceptive around people when it is in their own self-interest.
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More Fully Living in the Present and Loving in Relationships

By Vint Virga DVM, DACVB on March 06, 2017 in The Soul of All Living Creatures
In spite of the spotlights shining down at the podium, I could make out her face through the dimly lit houselights...

Can Humans Truly Connect With Nature by Eating a Big Mac?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 04, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Does meat eating connect us with nature and with ourselves? A recent essay unconvincingly claims it's important for attuning ourselves to the animal world and our animal natures.

It’s the Mode For Men to Have More Sex Partners

A common fallacy mistakes the mean for the mode where numbers of sex partners distinguished by sex is concerned.

Rather Than Kill Animals "Softly," Don't Kill Them at All

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 01, 2017 in Animal Emotions
"Efforts to control wildlife should begin wherever possible by altering the human practices that cause human–wildlife conflict and by developing a culture of coexistence."

Do Purebred and Mixed-Breed Dogs Show Behavior Differences?

Purebred and mixed-breed dogs differ in terms of their personality and the likelihood of behavior problems.

Why Do Dog Breeds with Genetic Disorders Suddenly Get Hot?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on February 24, 2017 in Animals and Us
Dog breeds like French bulldogs and Chihuahuas are skyrocketing in popularity despite their genetic problems. A new study examines why people are attracted to unhealthy pets.

More Than a Horse: Saying Goodbye to Marvin

By Kimerer LaMothe Ph.D. on February 24, 2017 in What a Body Knows
Marvin, our large, 26-year old chestnut quarter horse, had fallen in the snow, and was unable to stand up by himself. He had to get warm -- soon. What could we do?

Altering the ‘Work’ Experience

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on February 23, 2017 in The Dolphin Divide
How behavioral outlook shapes our drive. When old attitudes backfire, developing new ones becomes crucial.

The Biggest Psychological Mystery We Ignore

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on February 23, 2017 in Ambigamy
All of the biggest philosophical, theological, biological, psychological and sociological questions boiled down to one that most of us haven't heard nor thought about.

Dolphins Who Hang With Mates Display a Positive Spin on Life

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 22, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Dolphins who swim together display positive emotions and seem to be more optimistic than those who don't. This cognitive bias lasts for around two months.

Are There Behavior Changes When Dogs Are Spayed or Neutered?

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on February 22, 2017 in Canine Corner
Data shows that spaying or neutering dogs may not reduce behavior problems but actually tends to increase them.

Do Cleaner Shrimp Get Jealous?

By Peter Toohey Ph.D. on February 17, 2017 in Annals of the Emotions
The jealous triangle is usually reckoned to be one on one, with the prize, say, a lover. But it’s not all sex, it’s not all one on one, and it’s not all humans.