Essential Reads

The Value of Romantic Gestures

How our relationships would improve if we incorporated more romantic rituals.

Why You Were Born to Gossip

According to one theory, everything we say takes the form of gossip.

Is Sadomasochism a Uniquely Human Form of Sexuality?

Kinky sex is common in animals, but do they ever find pleasure in pain?

Are Humans Unique?

Are there criteria that distinguish humans from other species?

Recent Posts on Animal Behavior

Dogs Don't Remember Yesterday, Claims Psychologist

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 05, 2015 in Animal Emotions
Ample data show dogs and many other animals are not "stuck in an eternal present"—they remember the past and plan for the future. From an evolutionary point of view, it would be somewhat odd and exceptional if other animals didn't "remember yesterday" and plan accordingly.

Do Dogs Listen to Our Words or Voice Tone?

By Jann Gumbiner Ph.D. on March 05, 2015 in The Teenage Mind
Dogs are more similar to us than we like to believe.

The Value of Romantic Gestures

With Valentine's Day behind us many of us forget the importance of daily romantic gestures that can enhance our relationships and bring us closer to our partners.

Why Cleanliness Is Not Always Next To Godliness

By Dennis Rosen M.D. on March 04, 2015 in Sleeping Angels
A study published this week in Pediatrics found that children in households in which dishes are washed by hand—rather than by dishwasher—are much less likely to suffer from allergies

The Most and Least Popular Dog Breeds

A full listing of the popularity ranking of all 178 breeds of dogs recognized by the American Kennel Club. The trends over the past five years show some interesting consistencies and some intriguing changes.

Using Treats: Bribe or Bonus?

Does your pet only listen to you when you have a treat? If your pet is a criminal mastermind, blame the training, not the treat.

What Your Pet Can Teach You About Being Human

By Susan Weinschenk Ph.D. on February 28, 2015 in Brain Wise
What's important in life? How can we be happy and at peace? Maybe our pets can tell us.

Why You Were Born to Gossip

By David Ludden Ph.D. on February 27, 2015 in Talking Apes
Since our brains are finely tuned for coordinating our relationships with others, it’s not surprising that language is structured to convey social information.

Why SeaWorld Can’t Float: Censorship and Business Ethics

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 27, 2015 in Animal Emotions
SeaWorld attempted to censor talks at the 14th International Conference of the American Cetacean Society (ACS) last November that criticized them in the areas of the ethics of captivity and their business practices. Dr. Thomas White, who was one of the presenters being closeted, has now posted his presentation for all to see. It's well worth the time to view and share it.

They Talk, We Listen

By G.A. Bradshaw Ph.D., Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in Bear in Mind
"I don’t know what happened, my Sweet Girl is gone. Yesterday she left in the morning and didn’t even say good-bye. She just left. I waited all day yesterday and she never came home, and today she’s still not home. I am really, really sad. I don’t even know what I am going to do with myself."

Entangled Empathy: How to Improve Human-Animal Relationships

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in Animal Emotions
A new book by philosopher Lori Gruen called "Entangled Empathy" sets out a new ethic for our interactions with other animals, including humans, that involves blending our feelings and our knowledge of the others with whom we are in relationship and focusing on their situations by attending to their needs, interests, desires, vulnerabilities, hopes, and sensitivities.

Is Sadomasochism a Uniquely Human Form of Sexuality?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on February 25, 2015 in Animals and Us
From an evolutionary point of view, the enjoyment of pain would seem to be maladaptive. Is there an animal analog of finding sexual satisfaction in being whipped, poked with needles, or having hot wax dripped on your skin?

Lashing Out: Why Do We Blame?

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on February 24, 2015 in The Dolphin Divide
The scapegoat psychology of snappy judgments. Our pressing need to vent the stress of negative emotions makes us prone to lash out, even at those who don’t really deserve our ire. But knee-jerk responses don’t always solve our long-term problems—and can even make the world stage a darker, more dangerous place in which to live.

Measuring Team Performance

By Dr. Solange Charas on February 24, 2015 in The CEO Whisperer
Objectively measuring the effectiveness of the team helped the Board of Directors of this Humane Society better understand how to better select new directors and more powerfully move forward. The process explained.

Study: Dogs Can Identify Liars, and They Don't Trust Them

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on February 24, 2015 in Canine Corner
Dogs keep track of whether people lie or tell the truth, and they use these memories to determine whether they can trust particular humans and any new information that they get from them.

Resolving Social Conflict Between Familiar Cats

Cats may abruptly begin fighting with a cat they have known for years. Other times, a cat may dislike a new cat from the very first introduction. Have you ever had cats that did not get along? Please share your cat’s story and how you resolved the problem of quarreling kitties.

Live as if You’ll Die Tomorrow—Write a Will Today

By Cortney S. Warren Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in Naked Truth
Writing a will is not something most of us think about. Or talk about. Or want to think or talk about. Because writing one reminds us that we are all going to die. Yet, until we find the scientific fountain of youth, death is inevitable. If you want any control over what happens to your belongings and dependents (such as your children and pets), write a will today.

Discovering Peace of Mind

By Leon Pomeroy Ph.D. on February 22, 2015 in Beyond Good and Evil
I became the person I always wanted to be

Wicked Tuna: NGS Supports Animal Abuse and Poor Conservation

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 22, 2015 in Animal Emotions
The "Wicked Tuna" series sponsored by the National Geographic Society (NGS) continues on showing incredible torment and torture of these sentient beings. The NGS also is fully aware that "overfishing throughout their range has driven their numbers to critically low levels." It's astounding that the NGS, given their commitment to conservation, would air such a program.

New Conservation Science is Misguided and Too Much About Us

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 21, 2015 in Animal Emotions
New Conservation Science argues conservation should focus on human self-interests. It is wrong-minded and ignores the magnificence of nature including the fact that other animals and diverse ecosystems have intrinsic value and should be valued for whom and what they are, not for what they can do for us. There are far too many of us and it shouldn't be all about us.

Awakening

By G.A. Bradshaw Ph.D., Ph.D. on February 21, 2015 in Bear in Mind
A beautiful new book, "Turning Points in Compassion," shows that the animal rights movement has come of age. Through the moving and informative narratives of animal advocates around the world, we discover that underneath the relentless hand of animal exploitation, a new paradigm of "radical kindness" has emerged.

Are Humans Unique?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on February 18, 2015 in The Human Beast
The argument for human uniqueness is of mostly historical interest. As we gained more understanding of animal behavior, we learned that their psychology has more in common with us than had been imagined previously.

Can Dogs Recognize Emotions Just by Looking at a Human Face?

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on February 17, 2015 in Canine Corner
New data shows that dogs need only a glimpse of your mouth or your eyes to determine whether you are happy or angry.

Practical Solutions for Common Puppy Behavior Problems

Does your puppy bark at people coming to the door or grab at your pant legs? In this blog Dr. Houpt gives you practical solutions to these frustrating problems using her puppy, Yuki as an example.

Check Your Marital Privilege

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on February 14, 2015 in Living Single
There is a vast swath of unearned privileges that have gone largely unrecognized, even though they unfairly advantage about half of the adult population in the U.S.—marital privileges. People who marry enjoy social, cultural, economic, and political advantages that single people do not, simply because they are married.

Animals in Emergencies: Lessons from the Christchurch Quakes

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 12, 2015 in Animal Emotions
"Animals in Emergencies" is a must read, not only for those who are trained to rescue animals in disasters, but also for general readers, because one never knows when she or he will be called on to help an animal in need, not only in disasters that have wide ranging effects but also when an animal is hit by a car or simply lost and in physical and emotional pain.

Marijuana for Dogs?

By Stanley Coren Ph.D., F.R.S.C. on February 11, 2015 in Canine Corner
With more states in the US legalizing medical and recreational use of marijuana more dogs are becoming exposed to this substance as well. There are some suggestions that this may have benefits for our pets but there are also potential dangers to our pets.

Love Was Just Around the Corner

By Judith Coche Ph.D., ABPP on February 11, 2015 in No Ordinary Life
Just when Eva assumed love had passed her by it stopped to call and stayed a while. Perhaps the reason is that Eva has done superb work to strengthen her troubled family experiences and to build positivity and resilience. Join us as we stop in to see how she built her career and found a Valentine’s Day love just around the corner when she was 55.

The Hipster and the Bearded Ape

By Hector A Garcia Psy.D. on February 11, 2015 in Alpha God
Most hipsters and other bearded types walk about sporting their facial coiffures unaware of their evolved purpose. But the allure of beards is rooted in the violent past of male mate competition.

Killing Canadian Wolves Violated Accepted Welfare Guidelines

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 11, 2015 in Animal Emotions
A team of scientists has published an essay, just released today, that clearly shows that the killing spree by the Canadian government that resulted in the slaughter of 890 wolves should never have been conducted or published because it violated clearly stated welfare guidelines. This new essay is a much-needed response to the horrific slaughter of the wolves.