Essential Reads

Friends in Fur

With over 77 million dogs among us, is it surprising that many are stepping in as friends, confidantes, soulmates and support systems? Dogs pull way above their weight.

iSpeakDog: A Website Devoted to Becoming Dog Literate

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 27, 2017 in Animal Emotions
This new website teaches people how to understand their dog's behavior and is meant for dog guardians, trainers, groomers, veterinarians, and anyone else who interacts with dogs.

Want to Build a Dog From A Fox? Here's How To Do It.

Tucked away in Siberia, there are furry, four-legged creatures with wagging tails that are as friendly as any lapdog. But, despite appearances, these are not dogs—they are foxes.

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.

More Posts on Animal Behavior

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.

Not So Different: Finding Human Nature in Animal Nature

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 04, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Similar evolutionary forces of cooperation and competition have shaped both humans and other animals.

The Humane Economy: Making Compassion a Bottom Line Item

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 02, 2016 in Animal Emotions
An interview with HSUS CEO and president Wayne Pacelle about his new book "The Humane Economy: How Innovators and Enlightened Consumers Are Transforming the Lives of Animals."

Donkeys: If They Aren't Grieving What Are They Doing?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 28, 2016 in Animal Emotions
A recent video shows donkeys braying and interacting with a corpse. I don't know what they're thinking and feeling but surely they are grieving.

Are Dogs Who Live with Smokers More Likely to Get Cancer?

A variety of cancers that appear in dogs can be traced back to living in a household which includes cigarette smokers.

Should Grizzlies in the Yellowstone Area Be Trophy Hunted?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 28, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Iconic grizzly bears in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks may soon be put in the cross-hairs of trophy hunters if they are removed from the Endangered Species Act.

Hugging a Dog Is Just Fine When Done With Great Care

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 28, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Dogs are not all unconditional lovers nor sponges for hugs, but saying "Don't ever hug a dog" is over the top given what we know.

On Comparisons Between Dogs and Wolves: What We Really Know

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 27, 2016 in Animal Emotions
In two recent books about dogs: Beliefs don’t substitute for facts.

Launching Into Multi-Dimensional Thinking

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on April 26, 2016 in The Dolphin Divide
Can we tap into "three-dimensional" thinking?

How Dogs Help Men in the Dating Market

What makes dog owners more attractive romantic partners?

What Does It Feel Like to Be a Honeybee?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 20, 2016 in Animal Emotions
A new essay raises intriguing questions about which animals are conscious.

Why We're Throwing Our Doggie a Birthday Party

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on April 20, 2016 in How To Do Life
Life lessons from musing on the celebration of Einstein's 10th year here

What Zoos Need to Do for Zoo’d Animals

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 16, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Zoos must stop playing “musical animals” and "musical semen" and stop “zoothanizing” healthy animals whom they consider to be "surplus" or "useless" individuals.

How Steph Curry is Like a Bat

By Ari Berkowitz Ph.D. on April 14, 2016 in Governing Behavior
The best point guards can pass to a teammate they can't see. Bats can track both other bats and insects, using specialized brain circuits.

Double Mother Suckers

By David P. Barash Ph.D. on April 09, 2016 in Pura Vida
You might have noticed that people aren’t elephant seals. But a close look at these creatures reveals a lot about male-female differences in our own species.

As Smart Emotional Apes We're Not Alone So Let's Get Over It

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 08, 2016 in Animal Emotions
An essay by researcher Frans de Waal makes us rethink and re-feel who we are and who other animals are. Research clearly shows the gulf between them and us is rapidly narrowing.

How the Visual Abilities of Dogs Change With Age

New data shows that vision in dogs changes with age, with a trend toward becoming significantly more nearsighted.

Why Does My Dog Bite Me When He Approaches Me to Be Petted?

By The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists on April 04, 2016 in Decoding Your Pet
You think Fido loves you until he eagerly approaches you for love and then BAM - he bites you. Find out one very common reason for why Fido may do this.

Bird Minds: An Outstanding Book About Australian Natives

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 04, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Gisela Kaplan's encyclopedic book "Bird Minds" is a must read. You'll learn about crafty tool users, highly cooperative animals, thieves and sneaks, and wide-ranging emotions.

Are Cats Making Some People Aggressive?

A new study find evidence that the common cat parasite toxoplasma gondii is present at higher rates in very aggressive people.

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.