Essential Reads

Psychological and Environmental Aspects of Who We Eat

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on August 26, 2016 in Animal Emotions
"Meat Climate Change: The 2nd Leading Cause of Global Warming" highlights the incredible damage agricultural practices do to our planet and psyches and offers viable solutions.

Autistics as Undomesticated Humans

To the extent that humans are a self-domesticated species, autistics can be seen as less domesticated than others.

Kids, Chimps, and Cooperation

By Art Markman Ph.D. on August 23, 2016 in Ulterior Motives
People are pretty good at sharing when they are cooperating. When does that ability develop? Is it uniquely human?

Some Dogs Prefer Praise and a Belly Rub Over Treats

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on August 22, 2016 in Animal Emotions
New neuroimaging and behavioral research show some dogs prefer praise to treats as a reward. Saying "good dog" and rubbing a belly are great ideas for training/teaching dogs.

More Posts on Animal Behavior

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, "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.

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.