Essential Reads

Dogs Who Live with Smokers May Suffer from Premature Aging

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on September 19, 2017 in Canine Corner
Biomarkers show that living in a home with a tobacco smoker prematurely ages dogs at a cellular level

Cultivating Empathy

By Jennifer Verdolin Ph.D. on September 15, 2017 in Wild Connections
It seems timely to ask the question: What is empathy and how can we get more of it?

What It's Like to Be a Dog

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on September 15, 2017 in Animal Emotions
New MRI research shows startling similarities in what lights up animals' brains. Dogs, other nonhumans, and humans share neural processes involved in their thoughts and emotions.

Should You Let Your Dog Sleep in Bed With You?

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on September 14, 2017 in Canine Corner
A new study offers guidance on the choice to snuggle up with a favorite canine.

More Posts on Animal Behavior

Dogs Growl Honestly and Women Understand Better Than Men

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 17, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A new study shows humans can classify dog growls and women do it better than men. Dogs honestly communicate their size and emotions in serious contests but less so during play.

Even Vegans Die: Leaving a Legacy of Caring and Compassion

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 17, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A new book called "Even Vegans Die" is a valuable guide for animal advocates. It empowers people to make the best decisions regarding their own health and advocacy for animals.

Grief in Prairie Dogs: Mourning a Death in the Family

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 16, 2017 in Animal Emotions
I saw a unique interaction between an adult prairie dog and road-killed youngster. She pulled the corpse off the road, touched it lightly, and vocalized, perhaps saying good-bye.

If We Could Talk With the Prairie Dogs, Just Imagine it ...

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 14, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Renowned Northern Arizona University researcher Dr. Con Slobodchikoff argues we can talk with these linguistic rodents and learn a lot about the evolution of language from them.

Seven Successful Strategies from Safari

The benefits of copycat behavior

Veterinary Ethics: Life & Death Decisions in the Real World

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 10, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Making decisions about animal suffering in a wide variety of venues isn't easy, and doing the "right" thing can be extremely trying. Veterinarians need to be trained in ethics.

It's Still Not Happening at the Zoo: Sharp Divisions Remain

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 09, 2017 in Animal Emotions
An international meeting about zoo reform brought together an eclectic group of people. Yet, the question if animals should be held captive was dismissed by some as irrelevant.

Calming Music Specifically Composed for Dogs

Composer and singer gnash created a musical composition to calm his stressed-out dog Daisy and it seems to work for other dogs as well.

When One Partner Wants Pets and The Other Doesn't

By Dianne Grande Ph.D. on May 01, 2017 in In It Together
Who do you love more? Me or the dog?

Why Play Is Important

Of course we enjoy having fun, but does play have important biological benefits?

Dogs Want and Need Much More Than They Usually Get From Us

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 30, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A video called Downward Dog and an essay about stress show when we say, "It's a dog's life" to suggest things are wonderful, this isn't necessarily so for numerous companion dogs.

Rats!

By Mark Derr on April 29, 2017 in Dog's Best Friend
Rats bred for tameness confound predictions of several popular theories of animal domestication.

Pissing Matches in Dogs: Territorial, Lots of Fun, or Both?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 29, 2017 in Animal Emotions
We really don't know what dogs are talking about when they over-mark or counter-mark as it becomes a game of peeing to their heart's content. Surely, they can and do piss us off.

Bullies Beware: Rule Breaking Required

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on April 28, 2017 in The Dolphin Divide
It is easy to be intimidated by bullies, but breaking a few social rules can turn would-be enemies into fast friends.

Dogs Prefer Advice From People Who Actually Have the Answers

Data shows that dogs try to "read your mind" to see if you have reliable information before responding to your instructions.

Did Szenja the Polar Bear Die of a Broken Heart?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 19, 2017 in Animal Emotions
It's highly likely that Szenja, a polar bear at SeaWorld, died of a heartache after her best friend of 20 years, Snowflake, was shipped to the Pittsburgh Zoo to make more bears.

Train Too Much and a Dog Won't Remember

Back to back training sessions involving different tasks impairs a dog's long-term memory of what he has learned

How Men Attract Women

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on April 18, 2017 in The Human Beast
How men attract women is a much more difficult question than vice-versa because women are both more selective, and also more individualistic in what they want.

When Elephants Are Blessed

By G.A. Bradshaw PhD, PhD on April 14, 2017 in Bear in Mind
A Thai Elephant sanctuary walks the trans-species ethical path of compassion and kindness.

The "Guilty Dog" Look and Other Borrowed Signals

The guilty dog look and the human handshake have similar roots in the evolution of animal communication.

The Nature of a Dog's Eye Can Make Problem-Solving Difficult

Dogs have limited visual abilities when compared to humans, and this may make solving certain problems difficult.

Mice Aren't Furry Little People: Sloppy Science Fails Humans

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 12, 2017 in Animal Emotions
"Most potential new drugs fail when they're tested in people. These failures are not only a major disappointment, they sharply drive up the cost of developing new drugs." (NPR)

Do Donkeys Act? A Myth-Busting Film about Endearing Beings

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 11, 2017 in Animal Emotions
In "Do Donkeys Act?" donkeys themselves show us who they truly are. This film subverts the notion of the “dumb beast” and portrays donkeys as deeply emotional and caring beings.

Rabbits, Fish, and Even Crickets Are Good for Mental Health

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 10, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Many different nonhuman animals are able to help people feel more positively and see the light of day. And, it's not only animals of the cuddly kind, but also fish and insects.

Get Down and Dirty With Your Dog: Bow, Hug, and Tug

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 07, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Playing with and hugging your dog can be a great way to maintain a special bond, as long as it's done on their terms.

The New Best Remedy for Health Is a Dog

In California dogs are doing rounds at hospitals. Can a dog heal patients? Here is a personal story about a therapy dog showing that a dog can be the best medicine. Read more...

Is Clicker Training the Most Effective Way to Train Dogs?

New data resolves the controversy as to whether clicker training is better than using a word of praise when training dogs.

The Psychology of Watching April the Giraffe

By Peg Streep on April 05, 2017 in Tech Support
What has so many people totally obsessed with a pregnant giraffe? Why can't they look away from April?

Consciousness in Other Animals

By Harry Haroutioun Haladjian Ph.D. on April 03, 2017 in Theory of Consciousness
This post discusses the challenge of determining whether or not the experiences of other organisms have the same phenomenal quality of our typical conscious experiences.

Trumping Rodents: Scientists Benefit by Supporting Alt-Facts

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 31, 2017 in Animal Emotions
The Animal Welfare Act maintains that rats and mice are not animals, but they are. When such alt-facts are presented as facts, researchers should vigorously and openly protest.