Essential Reads

Are Dogs Self-Aware?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on May 24, 2017 in The Human Beast
The standard test of self-awareness is being able to recognize ourselves in a mirror. Although chimpanzees pass this test with flying colors, dogs flunk.
Wikimedia Commons (John O'Neill)

Survival of the Scaredest

Why are we more afraid of insects than guns? Our emotions and perceptions are evolutionary products, and we can blame genetics for our infested minds.

When Do Friends Matter Most?

By Lydia Denworth on May 18, 2017 in Brain Waves
Having friends is strongly associated with health and longevity, but scientists are only starting to ask when the effects of social relationships emerge and how long they last.

The "Furry Test Tubes" of Obesity Research

Mice are the most common animals now used in obesity research.They have many advantages for scientists who work with them but are far from perfect as a model for human beings.

More Posts on Animal Behavior

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?

New Proof That We Consider Dogs to Be Family Members

Research focused on how we confuse the names of individuals shows that dogs are stored in the same portion of our memory as our family members.

The Harambe Effect: The Legacy of a Gorilla Provocateur

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 07, 2016 in Animal Emotions
In the aftermath of killing the gorilla Harambe, conservation psychologists and anthrozoologists can play a large role in being sure he didn't die in vain.

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.