Essential Reads

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.

Do Sharks Feel Pain?

By Michael Tye, Ph.D. on March 21, 2017 in Genuinely Conscious
Sharks are often taken to be natural killing machines. The root of this idea may lie (at least in part) in their apparent inability to feel pain.

25 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Dogs

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on March 13, 2017 in Animals and Us
Why dogs should not drive cars and other findings from the hot new field of canine science.

More Posts on Animal Behavior

Do Dogs Grieve Over the Loss of an Animal Companion?

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on November 10, 2016 in Canine Corner
New data shows that dogs show grief and stress when they lose a companion animal from their household.

"Dead" or Just "Away"?

By Jessica Pierce Ph.D. on November 10, 2016 in All Dogs Go to Heaven
A new study explores how often veterinarians observe behavioral changes in animals when a companion is euthanized.

Small Hands

By Laura Betzig Ph.D. on November 06, 2016 in The Political Animal
Sex in politics is as old as politics. And maybe as old as sex.

Journey: The True Story of the Most Famous Wolf in the West

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on November 04, 2016 in Animal Emotions
A new children's book about wolf OR7's 2000 mile trek is a must read for all. In it we read about a young girl's efforts help make OR7 “too famous to kill" and she was successful.

Videos of Kids Going Face-to-face With Dogs Set Bad Examples

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on November 03, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Videos of kids going face-to-face with dogs are cute but set bad examples of what could turn out to be bad news for the youngsters, their families, and of course the dog.

Happy Bees: Bumblebees Show Dopamine-Based Positive Emotions

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on November 03, 2016 in Animal Emotions
After eating a sugary treat, bumblebees displayed optimistic behavior. When dopamine was blocked, data suggest bees experienced a change in mood, not just increased energy.

Do Dogs Have Empathy for Other Dogs?

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on November 02, 2016 in Canine Corner
New data shows that a dog who hears the whines and whimpers of another dog may empathize with its stress and try to provide comfort.

Jealousy In Animals and Envy in Humans

By Peter Toohey Ph.D. on October 29, 2016 in Annals of the Emotions
Jealousy is usually said to be a character flaw in humans and in animals. But is it? Could learning to be jealous simply be the reflection of a normal character type?

Farm to Fable: Examining the Culture of Animal Consumption

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on October 28, 2016 in Animal Emotions
In his book "Farm to Fable' Robert Grillo critically examines why the culture of eating other animals and animal products exists despite the availability of numerous alternatives.

Does Mood Shift Depend on Cognition...or Behavior?

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on October 27, 2016 in The Dolphin Divide
Thinking versus doing: A new study indicates effects on mood control.

Is There a Physical Basis to the Notion of "Spirit"?

By Liane Gabora Ph.D. on October 26, 2016 in Mindbloggling
The feeling bears leave you with has little to do with how smart they are, or their demeanor. It’s more a sense of the essential life force they emanate from, corny as that sounds.

Lab Chimpanzees Headed to Sanctuary Despite Lobbying Efforts

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on October 26, 2016 in Animal Emotions
A disturbing dispute is brewing over the retirement of laboratory chimpanzees to Chimp Haven because of resistance by the National Association for Biomedical Research.

For the Love of a Ball: Dogs as Conservation Biologists

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on October 26, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Dogs have been a great benefit for helping conservation biologists and they enjoy the work. Here is an fascinating interview with Pete Coppolillo of Working Dogs for Conservation.

What Dogs Do After Training Affects How Much They Remember

Data shows that adding a play session after training can improve a dogs memory and performance by 40%.

Canine PTSD

By Nicholas Dodman on October 25, 2016 in Dog Days
If a dog has a dysfunctional or traumatic past, it may set him or her up for C-PTSD when confronted by some terrifying, life threatening event

Homo Denialus: Mice Aren't Animals, Climate Change Is Real

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on October 25, 2016 in Animal Emotions
How can we easily deny anything we choose to oppose? Some who claim climate change is real deny the fact that mice and rats are animals.

Secret Service Dogs: How Their Work Is Vital to Our Safety

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on October 23, 2016 in Animal Emotions
A new book called "Secret Service Dogs: The Heroes Who Protect the President of the United States" explains how these hidden heroes serve to protect presidents and us.

"State of the Animals 2016": An Interview With Ralph Nader

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on October 23, 2016 in Animal Emotions
In a radio interview Ralph Nader and I had an informed discussion about the cognitive and emotional lives of nonhuman animals and how we use them in various human-centered venues.

Tools for Managing the Aggressive Dog

By The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists on October 18, 2016 in Decoding Your Pet
The owner of an aggressive dog needs a comprehensive treatment plan to address the problem. Several tools will help keep people (and other dogs) safe in the meantime.

Your Amygdala May House Both Positive and Negative Memories

By Christopher Bergland on October 17, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Positive and negative memories may be housed in specific regions of the amygdala, according to a new mice study. These findings offer many clues for overcoming negativity and fear.

Why We Fear

By Nathan H. Lents, Ph.D. on October 17, 2016 in Beastly Behavior
Researchers have found that it is easier to train humans and other primates to fear snakes than other dangers, indicating a genetic predisposition for the fear of snakes.

What's Your Dog’s IQ?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on October 14, 2016 in Talking Apes
My dog’s smarter than your dog—and there’s a doggie IQ test to prove it!

"Whispers From the Wild" Asks Us to Imagine the Unimaginable

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on October 13, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Renowned animal communicator Amelia Kinkade poignantly reminds us we're immersed in a fascinating world of nonhuman animals who depend on us and on whom we depend for our survival.

Wild Chimpanzee Moms Teach Youngsters to Use Tools: A First

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on October 13, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Videos show mothers transferring termite-fishing probes to youngsters to teach them to use these tools to gather food. All criteria for calling it "teaching" are fulfilled.

Think Twice Before Giving Medical Marijuana to Your Pet

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on October 12, 2016 in Animals and Us
It would be nice to think medical marijuana could cure epilepsy in dogs and anxiety in cats. But there are problems with the use of cannabis in veterinary medicine.

How to Keep a Dog From Jumping on Everyone

You can keep a dog from jumping on people by considering the dog's behavior, and how people usually respond to the behavior.

Theory of Mind and Play: Ape Exceptionalism Is Too Narrow

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on October 09, 2016 in Animal Emotions
A narrow focus on great apes exclusively or nearly exclusively having a ToM excludes possibilities in other animals. Here I offer that social play is a good place to look for ToM.

A Dog Is More Likely to Ignore Bad Advice Than a Child

Both dogs and children imitate the behaviors that they see, however dogs are less likely to imitate behaviors that are not relevant to completing a task.

Hunting for Fun on National Refuges is Just Fine, Says USFWS

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on October 04, 2016 in Animal Emotions
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has redefined the word "refuge." Hunting and fishing will now be allowed on 13 refuges where animals are supposed to feel safe.

Canine Sports

By The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists on October 04, 2016 in Decoding Your Pet
Is your dog looking for something new to do? Try out one of these fun canine sports. He'll get some mental and physical exercise and you'll get out of the house, too!