Essential Reads

Animal Envy, by Ralph Nader: A Review

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 17, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Ralph Nader's visionary fable, Animal Envy, was motivated by his mostly unknown but obviously longstanding concern for animals. The core message: Animals and humans need one other.

Helping Your Neighbor

We often help others with expectations of help in return at a future point. Turns out, this is a basic feature of what it means to be human.

Psychological Consequences of Having Tree-Dwelling Ancestors

Renowned evolutionist Gordon Gallup has extensively studied the psychological correlates of handgrip strength. To understand why, we need to look to our arboreal past.

Why Do We Exist?

Why do humans exist? Because of evolution. And this is a beautiful thing.

More Posts on Animal Behavior

Deep Eco-Psychology, Non-Violent Activism, and Science

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on July 15, 2016 in Animal Emotions
A new wide-ranging book titled "Codex Orféo" by author and filmmaker Michael Tobias blends science with fiction and calls for the end of violence and a renaissance of virtue.

Dogs, Dominance, and Guilt: We've Got to Get Things Right

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on July 14, 2016 in Animal Emotions
It's essential to acknowledge what we know about dogs and not suppress, ignore, deny, or misuse data. Dogs form dominance relationships but that's not license to dominate them.

Which Mammals Are Most Suitable as Pets?

A team of researchers in the Netherlands suggests which mammals make suitable pets and which don’t.

Which Emotions Do We See in Dogs and Cats?

New data looks at the basic and complex emotions that pet owners observe in their own dogs and cats.

What’s (Legally) Inside of a Dog?

New legal rulings are clarifying that animals are not the same as inanimate property such as a suitcase and that owners have strong obligations of proper care.

Pets Are Not Trash

We often hear that pets are being treated better than ever. Why, then, do so many animals end up being treated like garbage?

Can Animals Be Holy?

A new book makes us question the sacred, the human and the future of our world.

Dogs Display Dominance: Deniers Offer No Credible Debate

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on July 07, 2016 in Animal Emotions
"Dominance-in-dog deniers" don't understand what dominance is all about, conflate it with fighting, and ignore important comparative data from studies of dogs and other animals.

Can Dogs Have Autism?

By Nicholas Dodman on July 06, 2016 in Dog Days
If your dog fixates on things and seems withdrawn and antisocial, maybe he has a canine version of autism – or perhaps Fragile X syndrome?

Write Better by Thinking Like a Fox

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on July 06, 2016 in Creating in Flow
Two new novels demonstrate, by showing not telling, how to get into the mind of some unusual characters.

Female Elephants Take Over for Moms: Resilience to Poaching

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on July 05, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Elephant daughters follow in their mother's footsteps after they die. This example of social resilience gives hope that unrelenting poaching may not mean the end of elephants.

Captive Whales Deeply Suffer Psychologically, Experts Agree

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on July 03, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Experts across the board, including leaders in animal welfare science, agree that captive cetaceans are psychologically ill and cannot adequately be kept in tiny water cages.

Becoming a Badger

An Oxford don gets down and dirty to explore animal Umwelt

Florida Bear Hunt Cancelled: Win for Conservation Psychology

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 29, 2016 in Animal Emotions
A milestone for conservation psychology and compassionate conservation that amply displays the guiding principles of both rapidly growing international fields of inquiry.

Are Voice Commands or Hand Signals More Effective for Dogs?

New data answers the question of whether dogs are more responsive to verbal commands or to gestures and body language.

Did I Really Just Commit to That?

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on June 28, 2016 in The Dolphin Divide
How ‘Yes’ slips out in spite of ourselves. Why, when a request comes our way, we are often surprised to find ourselves taking on yet another obligation.

3 Surprising Ways Dogs Make Your Relationships Better

By Vinita Mehta Ph.D., Ed.M. on June 27, 2016 in Head Games
Humans relate to each other more positively when there's a dog in the mix.

Making Chickens Happier at Perdue: What's a Useful Response?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 27, 2016 in Animal Emotions
The move by Perdue to make chickens happier is a nod in the right direction, can be used to keep activists active and hopeful, but isn't close to being enough.

Dogs in Crates, Gorillas in Cages: Woes of Captive Breeding

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 26, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Dogs are wonderful metaphors for questions about what we do to other animals as they try to survive "the rage of humanity." If you won't do it to a dog, why do it to other animals?

The Psychology of Human-Nonhuman Selfies: Why the Epidemic?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 24, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Why do people want pictures of themselves with other animals that harm the animals? The "selfie phenomenon" is getting out of hand and according to some, is an epidemic.

Thunderstorm Phobia in Dogs

By Nicholas Dodman on June 24, 2016 in Dog Days
Does your dog panic during thunderstorms? Find out why and what to do about it.

Giving Back

There is a direct correlation between the amount of quality time you spend with your dog and your dog's behavior and happiness.

Hungry vs. Loyal: Ramsay's Hounds on the Hierarchy of Needs

Game of Thrones villain Ramsay Bolton suggests that he will feed his foes to his ravenous hounds, dogs he believes loyal to himself. Can dogs follow humans' hierarchy of needs?

What We Learn From Furry Felines

From ancient Egypt to our modern homes, cats have taught us to enjoy the moment and to live with emotional honesty. Here's a look at the human-feline bond over the millennia.

Pack Leadership for Your Family

You know you can go to Super Nanny for parenting advice, but The Dog Whisperer also can help you become a pack leader for your family!

Coyote America: The Evolution of Human-Animal Relationships

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 16, 2016 in Animal Emotions
A new book on coyotes is a well-researched study of human-animal relationships and how they have changed for the worst in an increasingly human dominated world.

Draymond vs The King

Aggression among apes involves a conspicuous target.

Fishes Recognize Human Faces: Why the Empathy Gap?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 15, 2016 in Animal Emotions
More and more research shows just how smart and emotional fishes truly are.

What Is the Best Way to Stop a Dog Fight?

When dogs are fighting your most instinctive method of trying to get them to stop will likely get you injured, but there are some safer ways to break up a fight.

When Tiger Leaps

By G.A. Bradshaw PhD, PhD on June 14, 2016 in Bear in Mind
Not unthinking killing machines. Not running on pure, raw instinct. Not a myth. The captive Tiger captures our attention, demanding an answer: Why?