Essential Reads

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.

What Does Information Look Like in the Brain?

Does thinking harder or experiencing deep emotions like love, fear, or anguish light up more neurons? Probably not.

More Posts on Animal Behavior

Do Animal-Assisted Interventions Work, and For Whom?

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on June 05, 2016 in How To Do Life
A The Eminents interview with Aubrey Fine and David Williams.

Pit Bulls: The Psychology of Breedism, Fear, and Prejudice

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 02, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Bronwen Dickey's new book "Pit Bull: The Battle Over an American Icon" is a thorough analysis of how these highly variable dogs became transformed into dangerous fiends.

The Making of Disgust

Disgust appears to be unique to humans. How did our species develop this emotion—and why are we the only creatures repulsed by cockroaches and maggots?

What We Should Learn From the Shooting Death of Harambe

By Denise Cummins Ph.D. on May 31, 2016 in Good Thinking
Why not capitalize on primate intelligence to develop a strategic training response to this kind of situation to avoid tragedies like Harambe's shooting death in the future?

Killing Harambe: Who Was Protecting Whom?

By Joe Pierre M.D. on May 31, 2016 in Psych Unseen
Moral outrage is swift, retributive, and often based on limited information and context.

Leashes...

By The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists on May 31, 2016 in Decoding Your Pet
The tools you use to walk a dog can make walking a pleasant or unpleasant experience for both of you. A lot of communication happens at both ends of the leash.

How to Deal With People Who Drain Your Energy

Natural selection built a brain that seeks safety in numbers. Instead of spending all of your energy on the needs of others, you can start feeling good about focusing on yourself.

Are There Really Lucky and Unlucky Pet Names?

Data from over a half-million pet insurance claims finds that some pet's names are more likely to be associated with accidents and mishaps

New Brain Maps Capture Parenting Behavior in Vivid Snapshots

A revolutionary neuroimaging technique was introduced this week. The new brain maps create vivid snapshots that illustrate how various "parental regions" of the brain operate.

Personal Space

By Nicholas Dodman on May 26, 2016 in Dog Days
Do animals always appreciate or tolerate personal space invaders?

Warming to the Sensual Touch: The Science of Foreplay

How individual notions of reward can change over time. The art of foreplay lies in knowing when and how much – and can lead to deeply meaningful relationships.

Dogs Hesitate More and Respond Less Well When You Are Upset

Your emotional state can cause your dog to hesitate or to execute your instructions less accurately.

Why Dogs Belong Off-Leash: It's Win-Win for All

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 25, 2016 in Animal Emotions
A recent essay argues it's best for dogs and humans for dogs to be off-leash as long as people are responsible for their dog. Research shows too many people are not.

More Than ‘Man’s Best Friend’

It is true that dogs play a major role in society; from their formal professions as work dogs to their important roles as companions, dogs touch and help many lives.

People Who Prefer Dogs to Humans

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on May 23, 2016 in How To Do Life
A surprising number do...and it may not be so irrational.

We Don't Know if Dogs Feel Guilt So Stop Saying They Don't

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 22, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Myths about dog behavior abound. Individual differences must be appreciated and it's essential to get things right so dogs and humans can live together as harmoniously as possible.
J. Brasse

K-9s and Cops: A Softer Side

Law enforcement agencies that attend to the nuances of human-dog psychology will get best results and higher satisfaction from their K-9 units.

Insect Brain Capable of Conscious Subjective Experiences

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 19, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Just when you think we know it all, researchers propose that insect brains support "a capacity for subjective experience."

Heart of a Lion: The Biography of a Peripatetic Predator

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 17, 2016 in Animal Emotions
William Stolzenburg's new book "Heart of a Lion: A Lone Cat's Walk Across America" shows why we must value rather than categorically malign and kill "dangerous" animals.

Fishes Know, Feel, and Care: A Humane Revolution in Progress

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 15, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Fishes aren't unfeeling streams of protein but rather experience streams of consciousness. The animals' agenda is harming us "in the name of humans" needs to stop.

Does "Mother Love" Play a Role in Rearing Better Dogs?

Puppies that are not frequently touched by their mother may grow up to be more easily frightened and less sociable.

Horses, Cows, and Fish: Their Rich and Deep Emotional Lives

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 11, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Comparative research on animal emotions is burgeoning and it's easy to learn what they want and need. The animals' agenda is to be treated with respect and dignity.

Summertime Sex and Springtime Babies

By Robert D. Martin Ph.D. on May 10, 2016 in How We Do It
Human populations have regular year-round birth patterns. Births typically peak in spring in the north but 6 months later in the south, hinting at control by an internal clock.

New Evidence That Aliens Have Reached Earth

Has science caught up with science fiction?

Man’s Best Friend Meets Man's Best Robot

By Rebecca Coffey on May 09, 2016 in The Bejeezus Out of Me
Scientists have distilled the elements of dogs’ behavioral language for use in robots.

Should Female Dogs Be Used as Puppy Mill Breeding Machines?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 09, 2016 in Animal Emotions
In "What Is a Dog?" we're told females should breed as many males possible and unwanted—non-standard—pups be killed.

What a Dog Is Not

By Mark Derr on May 07, 2016 in Dog's Best Friend
Once again the Coppingers rely on an outmoded paradigm to define dogs.

Nature's Perfect Partners: A PBS Film on Animal Cooperation

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 07, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Watch fascinating footage of animals of the same and different species working together to achieve win-win outcomes for all.

What's Happening When Dogs Play Tug-of-War? Dog Park Chatter

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 06, 2016 in Animal Emotions
When dogs play tug-of-war, there's a lot more going on than competition.

For Dogs It's "Of Course I'll Obey — If You're Watching Me!"

Studies show that how well dogs obey their owner's instructions depends upon how much attention they're receiving from their owner. The same is true for kids and their parents.