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

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.

More Overstated Claims About Pets and Our Health

A recent study claims that pet ownership offers an $11.7 billion savings to our healthcare system. But there is a bit more to it.

Trading Places

What happens when a hospice veterniarian spends the day with a human hospice physician?

When Gorillas Sing or Hum With a Full Mouth We Should Listen

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 01, 2016 in Animal Emotions
There's lots to learn when gorillas sing and hum while they eat. What's considered a bad habit in humans seems to have important social functions in our close relatives.

Why Trump?: Donald the Dominant Male Ape

By Hector A Garcia Psy.D. on February 28, 2016 in Alpha God
Baffled by Trump? The answers lie with our evolved psychology.

The Benefits of Autopilot Thinking

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on February 27, 2016 in The Dolphin Divide
How mental habits ease the pain of decision-making. But at what cost? Can well-worn grooves of mental routine free our minds, or do they get us stuck in ruts?

25 Signs of Pain in Cats

By Jessica Pierce Ph.D. on February 27, 2016 in All Dogs Go to Heaven
When are deviations from normal behavior a sign that your cat is pain? A paper published this week presents the consensus of an international panel of experts.

NRA Backed SHARE Act Is About Killing Animals Not Sharing

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 26, 2016 in Animal Emotions
This bill, passed by the U.S. House, increases access to public lands for hunting with lead bullets "while limiting punitive regulations promoted by 'animal rights' extremists."

Elections in the Brain

By Ari Berkowitz Ph.D. on February 26, 2016 in Governing Behavior
We are currently awash in polling, voting, and caucusing. Brains, like countries, need to make decisions. Nerve cells choose behaviors through processes akin to elections.

Are Animals "Things?" The Evolution of Animal Law

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 25, 2016 in Animal Emotions
A new essay centers on the legal status of animals and what is being done in courses in animal law and legal circles to change their status from "property" to "persons."

Unleashing Your Dog’s Social Genius

By Jennifer Arnold on February 25, 2016 in Through a Dog’s Eyes
How smart is your dog? Probably, smarter than you think!

Cloning Pets

By Jessica Pierce Ph.D. on February 20, 2016 in All Dogs Go to Heaven
You love your dog or cat. Someday your dog or cat will die. What if you could put aside the genetic materials to make a perfect copy of your beloved animal, a clone of your pet?

Does Breed Popularity Go Up After A Dog Wins At Westminster?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on February 19, 2016 in Animals and Us
The Westminster Dog Show is the canine equivalent of the Miss America Contest. It is widely believed that a win is usually followed by a spike in breed popularity. But is it true?

Dog Behavior: An Encyclopedic Review of What we Know

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 18, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Here's your go-to guide for dog behavior.

David Barash on Evolutionary Biology and Mental Health

The future of mental health interview series continues with David Barash on evolutionary biology and mental health.

Are There Sex Differences in the Brain?

Does your brain reveal your gender? Does it explain or validate sex differences in behaviour or social role?

The Voice of Image: Exploring the Psychology of Photography

By G.A. Bradshaw PhD, PhD on February 13, 2016 in Bear in Mind
Award-winning photojournalist, Jo-Anne McArthur, provides a window and mirror into human and animal psyches.

Kissing: Reflections on Humans and Other Animals Making Out

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 11, 2016 in Animal Emotions
We're in the dark about why kissing evolved in some human cultures and whether or not other animals are really kissing or just swapping saliva and smells and enjoying themselves.
PollyDot/Pixabay

Thriving, Cognitive Complexity, Bee Wisdom—and You

By Carol S. Pearson Ph.D. on February 11, 2016 in The Hero Within
To thrive in today’s world, it is critical to be able to track emerging cultural stories that empower rather than limit you.

Is It Possible That a Dog Could Be Racist?

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on February 10, 2016 in Canine Corner
New data shows that minor actions by a dog's owner can cause it to develop negative emotions toward particular people.

Therapy Dogs or Robots for Nursing Home Residents?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on February 09, 2016 in Animals and Us
Do robots or dogs make better therapists in assisted living facilities?

8 Misconceptions About Therapy, Service, and Support Animals

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on February 08, 2016 in Animals and Us
Can you get a free airplane ride for your pet snake? Can you take a psychiatric service dog into a bar? Here are the answers to some common questions about assistance animals.

Is Your Dog in Pain?

By Jessica Pierce Ph.D. on February 03, 2016 in All Dogs Go to Heaven
A new book helps dog owners understand and address pain.

Which Toys Do Dogs Prefer?

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on February 03, 2016 in Canine Corner
Research shows that dogs get bored quickly with their toys, so new is always better — although there are exceptions.

Why Are There More Service Dogs Than Ever?

By Susan B. Winston LMFT on February 03, 2016 in Shift Happens
Have you noticed that there are more and more service dogs in your restaurants, stores, planes? Do more and more people need the comfort of their four-legged friends?

What's a Good Life for an Old Dog?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 01, 2016 in Animal Emotions
At the end of a dog's life a tasty treat is better than nasty pills with major side effects. I hope someone will make the same decision for me if a comparable situation arises.

Your Dog Can’t Be In Pain As He Runs and Plays? Think Again!

Pain can contribute to your pet's behavioral issues and can be challenging to diagnose.

Parrots to the Rescue: How they Help Veterans with PTSD

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on January 31, 2016 in Animal Emotions
A New York Times essay by Charles Siebert called "What Does a Parrot Know About PTSD?" is a must read about how parrots can help people deeply in need. It could be a life-changer.

The Exotic Pet Trade: Human-Animal Interactions Gone Bad

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on January 29, 2016 in Animal Emotions
The exotic pet trade is a lucrative international enterprise responsible for the horrific death of millions of animals. Here is an interview with a scientist trying to end it.