Essential Reads

Stop the Presses! Dog Owners Are Happier

New data looks at the impact that dog or cat ownership has on the mental well-being, happiness, and life satisfaction of people.

When Are Puppies at Their Cutest?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on July 26, 2016 in Animals and Us
Most dogs on Earth die before they are three months old. New research shows how being cute can save a puppy from an early death.

No Horsing Around About the Human-Equine Bond

For millennia, horses have worked hard for humans, and today they serve as the ultimate therapists. Here's a look at the important roles horses play in the human experience.

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.

More Posts on Animal Behavior

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.

Covert Electronic Surveillance

By Ari Berkowitz Ph.D. on March 09, 2016 in Governing Behavior
We know from Edward Snowden that the NSA does extensive covert electronic surveillance. So do some fish.

Should Trainers Tell Dogs When Their Behavior Is Wrong?

Should trainers tell dogs when their behavior is wrong as well as rewarding them for correct behavior?

Cesar Millan Crosses the Line Again

By Mark Derr on March 09, 2016 in Dog's Best Friend
How do a weeping woman and a bleeding pig add up to dog training?

What's Behind That Door? Just Life.

Neil Abramson’s new book will appeal to those who understand the bond of love between human and dog—and what happens when someone threatens that bond.

Can Dogs Recognize Our Faces?

By Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. on March 06, 2016 in Urban Survival
A new brain imaging study suggest that dogs can recognize faces.

The Need for Voice

By G.A. Bradshaw PhD, PhD on March 05, 2016 in Bear in Mind
It is usually assumed that non-human animals cannot speak. But if you truly listen, as one trans-species psychoanalyst maintains, animal voices are loud and clear.

Hooked on Meat: Evolution, Psychology, and Dissonance

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 05, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Marta Zaraska's book called "Meathooked" analyzes our obsession with meat. It's fact-filled and non-preachy and an excellent read about why we're addicted to eating other animals.

Where Do All the Dogs Go?

By Greg O'Brien on March 03, 2016 in On Pluto
“It’s as if Sox has dementia, Alzheimer’s,” the doctor explained, unaware of my diagnosis. “That’s the best way to explain it.”

Should It Be Legal to Kill Your Own Pet?

A South Carolina county wants to make it illegal to kill your own dog.

Genitalia 101: The Pros and Cons of Elaborate Sex Organs

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 03, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Genitalia are one of the most rapidly evolving organs with important insights into how we influence the lives of other animals. Learning about reproductive activities is critical.