Essential Reads

The Truth About Being Left-Brained or Right-Brained

Do you think of yourself as a right- or left-brained person and does it matter?

How Long Will Your Dog Live?

A dog's remaining life expectancy can be predicted by its size and current age.

Elephants Rescue Baby Who Lies Down on a Busy Highway

An incredible video of a herd of these magnificent beings caring for a baby

Empathic Rats Save Drowning Pals Rather than Eat Chocolate

Research again shows rats display empathy so why do we torture them in labs?

Recent Posts on Animal Behavior

Study: Dogs Can Identify Liars, and They Don't Trust Them

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on February 24, 2015 in Canine Corner
Dogs keep track of whether people lie or tell the truth, and they use these memories to determine whether they can trust particular humans and any new information that they get from them.

Resolving Social Conflict Between Familiar Cats

Cats may abruptly begin fighting with a cat they have known for years. Other times, a cat may dislike a new cat from the very first introduction. Have you ever had cats that did not get along? Please share your cat’s story and how you resolved the problem of quarreling kitties.

Live as if You’ll Die Tomorrow—Write a Will Today

By Cortney S. Warren Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in Naked Truth
Writing a will is not something most of us think about. Or talk about. Or want to think or talk about. Because writing one reminds us that we are all going to die. Yet, until we find the scientific fountain of youth, death is inevitable. If you want any control over what happens to your belongings and dependents (such as your children and pets), write a will today.

Wicked Tuna: NGS Supports Animal Abuse and Poor Conservation

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 22, 2015 in Animal Emotions
The "Wicked Tuna" series sponsored by the National Geographic Society (NGS) continues on showing incredible torment and torture of these sentient beings. The NGS also is fully aware that "overfishing throughout their range has driven their numbers to critically low levels." It's astounding that the NGS, given their commitment to conservation, would air such a program.

New Conservation Science is Misguided and Too Much About Us

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 21, 2015 in Animal Emotions
New Conservation Science argues conservation should focus on human self-interests. It is wrong-minded and ignores the magnificence of nature including the fact that other animals and diverse ecosystems have intrinsic value and should be valued for whom and what they are, not for what they can do for us. There are far too many of us and it shouldn't be all about us.


By G.A. Bradshaw Ph.D., Ph.D. on February 21, 2015 in Bear in Mind
A beautiful new book, "Turning Points in Compassion," shows that the animal rights movement has come of age. Through the moving and informative narratives of animal advocates around the world, we discover that underneath the relentless hand of animal exploitation, a new paradigm of "radical kindness" has emerged.

Are Humans Unique?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on February 18, 2015 in The Human Beast
The argument for human uniqueness is of mostly historical interest. As we gained more understanding of animal behavior, we learned that their psychology has more in common with us than had been imagined previously.

Can Dogs Recognize Emotions Just by Looking at a Human Face?

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on February 17, 2015 in Canine Corner
New data shows that dogs need only a glimpse of your mouth or your eyes to determine whether you are happy or angry.

Practical Solutions for Common Puppy Behavior Problems

Does your puppy bark at people coming to the door or grab at your pant legs? In this blog Dr. Houpt gives you practical solutions to these frustrating problems using her puppy, Yuki as an example.

Check Your Marital Privilege

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on February 14, 2015 in Living Single
There is a vast swath of unearned privileges that have gone largely unrecognized, even though they unfairly advantage about half of the adult population in the U.S.—marital privileges. People who marry enjoy social, cultural, economic, and political advantages that single people do not, simply because they are married.

Animals in Emergencies: Lessons from the Christchurch Quakes

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 12, 2015 in Animal Emotions
"Animals in Emergencies" is a must read, not only for those who are trained to rescue animals in disasters, but also for general readers, because one never knows when she or he will be called on to help an animal in need, not only in disasters that have wide ranging effects but also when an animal is hit by a car or simply lost and in physical and emotional pain.

Marijuana for Dogs?

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on February 11, 2015 in Canine Corner
With more states in the US legalizing medical and recreational use of marijuana more dogs are becoming exposed to this substance as well. There are some suggestions that this may have benefits for our pets but there are also potential dangers to our pets.

Love Was Just Around the Corner

By Judith Coche Ph.D., ABPP on February 11, 2015 in No Ordinary Life
Just when Eva assumed love had passed her by it stopped to call and stayed a while. Perhaps the reason is that Eva has done superb work to strengthen her troubled family experiences and to build positivity and resilience. Join us as we stop in to see how she built her career and found a Valentine’s Day love just around the corner when she was 55.

The Hipster, the Bearded Ape, and God

By Hector A Garcia Psy.D. on February 11, 2015 in Alpha God
Most hipsters and other bearded types walk about sporting their facial coiffures unaware of their evolved purpose. But the allure of beards is rooted in the violent past of male mate competition.

Killing Canadian Wolves Violated Accepted Welfare Guidelines

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 11, 2015 in Animal Emotions
A team of scientists has published an essay, just released today, that clearly shows that the killing spree by the Canadian government that resulted in the slaughter of 890 wolves should never have been conducted or published because it violated clearly stated welfare guidelines. This new essay is a much-needed response to the horrific slaughter of the wolves.

Polar Bears, Pollutants, and Erectile Dysfunction

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 11, 2015 in Animal Emotions
High levels of PCBs reduce the density of bears' penis bone making for hard and unhard times. Polar bears and many other species are getting screwed, or not, and what's even more egregious is that PCBs are very slow to break down, they disperse and accumulate over time. Their presence threatens the survival of this magnificent species and many others.

Dogs Can't Cure Cancer

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on February 10, 2015 in Animals and Us
How much do cancer patients benefit from playing with therapy dogs before their radiation or chemotherapy treatments? There's good news and bad news...

Learning to Enjoy Life by Watching Dogs

Research shows us that owning a dog can lead to a healthier lifestyle. Dog lovers know that dogs teach ways of living that we might want to emulate. Watching your canine friend—or someone else’s—and imitate some of their behaviors. This can be your guide to improving moods and learning to enjoy life more.

Attempt to Redirect Dog Evolution Falls Flat

By Mark Derr on February 10, 2015 in Dog's Best Friend
Researchers' claims that dogs evolved fewer than 10,000 years ago are at odds with current archaeological and genetic evidence. They are also grounded in the belief that wolves and humans are natural enemies. They are not.

Dogs on the Inside: Must See Documentary on Dogs and Inmates

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 09, 2015 in Animal Emotions
A new documentary, called "Dogs on the Inside," shows how dogs can be catalysts for trust, rehabilitation, and love behind bars. Clearly, it's a win-win situation for the dogs and the inmates. This film reflects my own experiences of teaching inmates about animal behavior as part of Jane Goodall's global Roots & Shoots program. It is perfect for audiences of all ages.

Bipartisan Support to Protect "Food Animals" from Torture

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 08, 2015 in Animal Emotions
"Food animals" at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center need all help possible, and now there is bipartisan support brewing in the U. S. Congress to protect them against the heinous treatment to which meat researchers subject them in their reprehensible quest for profit. An essay in the New York Times brought to light the unimaginable ways these animals are brutalized.

Compassionate Conservation: More than "Welfarism Gone Wild"

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 08, 2015 in Animal Emotions
A forthcoming essay lays out the agenda for compassion as a practical ethic for conservation. The guiding principle for the rapidly growing field called "compassionate conservation" is "first do no harm" and stresses the importance of individual animals. For those who want to learn more about compassionate conservation, there will be a meeting in July 2015 in Vancouver.

The Seduction of Syntax

By David Ludden Ph.D. on February 06, 2015 in Talking Apes
There is no language module in the brain. Instead, language processing runs through the same neural circuits that the brain has been using to perform other information processing tasks for millions of years.

Are Your Affairs in Order?

By Rick Miller LICSW on February 05, 2015 in Unwrapped
After we are gone, where our stuff ends up, even where we end up, will be decisions left to others … unless we take the steps now to ensure that our wishes are carried forward. Not only does this protect our legacy, it relieves the burden from loved ones of trying to guess what we would have wanted.

Rare Warty Pig at Bristol Zoo Eats Family and Other Losses

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 05, 2015 in Animal Emotions
There are major problems at this zoo including losses of a rare monkey and birds who escape. Although the Bristol Zoo is considered to be a "good zoo," clearly it is not good enough to avoid these tragic events and more needs to be done to make sure they don't happen again. Zoos change their residents' behavior and there never can be too much surveillance of the animals.

Can Therapy Dogs Help Cure Cancer?

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on February 05, 2015 in Canine Corner
Do therapy dogs have any effect on the physical, functional, or emotional well-being of cancer patients?

Animals in France: What Really Happened about Sentience?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 04, 2015 in Animal Emotions
Animals in France have new but very limited status, "living beings gifted sentience," but it's extremely limited in scope. They're still property, farm animals are not covered, and this change "only applies to pets or wild animals tamed or held in captivity. The sentience of wild animals, meanwhile, is not recognized." It's better than nothing but still lots to do.

Cats Get Bad Press (Again)

By John Bradshaw Ph.D. on February 04, 2015 in Pets and Their People
British columnist Caitlin Moran confesses to hating one of her cats—but it’s all down to a misunderstanding (or two).

Lonely Ants Die Young: They Don't Know What to Do When Alone

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 03, 2015 in Animal Emotions
Socially isolated lose ants lose digestive functions and suffer due to this loss. They die at around six days of age, whereas group-living ants die at around 66 days of age. This study on ants shows that social isolation and health are closely related and much more research is needed in this area. It's notable that "even ants" show a negative reaction to loneliness.

Learning Theory in Practice: Housebreaking a Puppy

Will Yuki be trained before the first snowfall?