Essential Reads

Friends in Fur

With over 77 million dogs among us, is it surprising that many are stepping in as friends, confidantes, soulmates and support systems? Dogs pull way above their weight.

iSpeakDog: A Website Devoted to Becoming Dog Literate

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 27, 2017 in Animal Emotions
This new website teaches people how to understand their dog's behavior and is meant for dog guardians, trainers, groomers, veterinarians, and anyone else who interacts with dogs.

Want to Build a Dog From A Fox? Here's How To Do It.

Tucked away in Siberia, there are furry, four-legged creatures with wagging tails that are as friendly as any lapdog. But, despite appearances, these are not dogs—they are foxes.

If You Want to Live Longer, Get a Dog

New data shows that pet ownership can increase the longevity of people with health risk issues.

More Posts on Animal Behavior

Anthrozoology: Embracing Co-existence in the Anthropocene

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on January 13, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A book by Michael Tobias and Jane Morrison stresses the need for universal coherence. While it may make readers uneasy, we must face what we're doing in the rage of inhumanity.

A Dog That Is Afraid of Loud Noises Is Afraid of Everything

Research indicates that dogs that are easily frightened by loud noises are much more apt to be fearful in many situations, show separation anxiety, and even aggressive behaviors.

Rituals and Practices Surrounding Animal Death

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on January 12, 2017 in Animal Emotions
An interview with Margo DeMello, editor of the recent book Mourning Animals, highlights various rituals that occur when an animal dies and notes that very few animals are grieved.

A Dog Named Gucci: "Justice Is a Dog's Best Friend"

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on January 11, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A Dog Named Gucci is a film that inspires hope. It's about dogs who were severely abused, the amazing humans who worked tirelessly to change laws about abuse, and their successes.

Dog Smarts: If We Were Smarter We'd Understand Them Better

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on January 11, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Studies of dog behavior, dog-human interactions, and dog intelligence are burgeoning. Despite attempts to talk about "the dog," significant variability is the name of the game.

Respecting Nonhuman Animals: A Thought Experiment

By Michael Tye, Ph.D. on January 07, 2017 in Genuinely Conscious
Ought we treat nonhuman animals with as much respect as we treat one another? Maybe not

Loveys, Stuffed Animals, and Pets

Ever wondered about the significance of a child's stuffed animal or blanket? And the qualities that make up this relationship? Ever had one yourself?

The World According to Intelligent and Emotional Chickens

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on January 03, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A new review article by Dr. Lori Marino called "Thinking chickens" clearly shows these birds are as cognitively, emotionally, and socially complex as many mammals, including dogs.

"If Dogs Truly Were Human They Would Be Jerks"

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on January 03, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Myths about dogs often become interpreted as truths. They're not. So-called truths, that counter facts, continue to misinform and mislead naive readers. Surely we can do better.

Training Dogs: Food is Fine and Your Dog Will Still Love You

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on December 31, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Using food to train dogs doesn't mean your dog is using you and doesn't really love you, so it's time to get over it. The dichotomy of food versus true love is ridiculous.

Is It a Marriage If...?

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on December 30, 2016 in The Dolphin Divide
Does human matrimony reflect our animal nature?

Doctor Dolittle: Animal Minds, Animal Rights, and Much More

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on December 29, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Hugh Lofting's book is a gold mine of information on human-animal relationships, animal cognition and emotions, and predictor of genetic engineering, animal jurors, and much more.

Bonking Without Bones: An Evolutionary Enigma

By Robert D. Martin Ph.D. on December 27, 2016 in How We Do It
New studies clarify the evolution of a "penis bone" in most primates—except humans.

Well-Endowed Males Lead to Big-Brained Female Fishes

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on December 25, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Sexual behavior may play a role in brain evolution.

Three Reasons Why Pets Are More Pampered Today

By Kit Yarrow Ph.D. on December 23, 2016 in The Why Behind the Buy
We spend twice as much money on our pets than we did a decade ago. Here's why.

Dogs, Dominance, Breeding, and Legislation: A Mixed Bag

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on December 22, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Dogs display dominance, as do other animals, but we should not dominate dogs when working with them. Dogs are receiving more legal protection but much more needs to be done.

Dog Ownership, Stress, and Finding Romance

Do dog lovers make better romantic partners?

Veterans For Wildlife: Helping Wildlife, Empowering Veterans

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on December 20, 2016 in Animal Emotions
This African organization aims to stop wildlife crime and empower veterans. Their work is highly relevant to conservation psychology, anthrozoology, and animal-assisted therapy.

How Much Wolf Is in Your Dog's Behavior?

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on December 19, 2016 in Canine Corner
Data shows that older dog breeds, that is those that evolved earlier from wolves, show less affection and attachment to human beings.

Inmates, Animals, and Art: Creative Expressions of Hope

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on December 17, 2016 in Animal Emotions
In my Roots & Shoots class at the Boulder County Jail students do amazing artwork that are expressions of trust, hope, and their connections to animals and other nature.

My Basket of Hope I: BeaRtrice, Oscar, and Asian Moon Bears

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on December 15, 2016 in Animal Emotions
We are living in an epoch I call "the rage of inhumanity. Thinking about the plight and recovery of bile bears in China adds to my "basket of hope" for future generations.

Mourning a Canine Companion

By Mark Derr on December 14, 2016 in Dog's Best Friend
William Harris memorializes his dead friend.

Social Comparison: Don’t Let It Ruin Your Holiday

Social comparison often triggers cortisol, which taints a good life with a bad threatened feeling. Fortunately, you can re-direct this natural impulse. Here's how.

Raising a Wild Child: A New Film From the Born Wild Project

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on December 08, 2016 in Animal Emotions
A new film by an "estrogen powerhouse" shows that free time in nature teaches youngsters independence, physical coordination, problem solving, and important social and play skills.

Lab Rat's Pinker and Relaxed Ears Tell Us They're Feeling OK

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on December 07, 2016 in Animal Emotions
New research shows there are facial indicators of positive emotions in rats. We are obliged to pay attention to these signs and use them on an individual's behalf.

Does Stress Cause Premature Graying in Dogs?

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on December 07, 2016 in Canine Corner
New data shows that dogs suffering from anxiety and stress will show graying hairs on their face prematurely


By Laura Betzig Ph.D. on December 04, 2016 in The Political Animal
Fidel Castro has been laid to rest. His words, and his descendants, live on.

Older Dogs: Giving Elder Canines Lots of Love and Good Lives

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on December 01, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Photographer Jane Klonsky's new book called "Unconditional: Older Dogs, Deeper Love," with its deeply moving stories and beautiful photos, is an inspirational and essential read.

Helen Keller and the First Akitas in the United States

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on November 30, 2016 in Canine Corner
Helen Keller, the deaf blind social activist, speaker, and author, is credited with bringing the first Akitas to America.

Who Benefits the Most From Having a Pet?

By Roni Beth Tower Ph.D., ABPP on November 30, 2016 in Life, Refracted
Pet ownership is unrelated to well-being in married Americans. Single women benefit from having a pet, yet single men appear to be burdened by it.