Essential Reads

Stop the Presses! Dog Owners Are Happier

New data looks at the impact that dog or cat ownership has on the mental well-being, happiness, and life satisfaction of people.

When Are Puppies at Their Cutest?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on July 26, 2016 in Animals and Us
Most dogs on Earth die before they are three months old. New research shows how being cute can save a puppy from an early death.

No Horsing Around About the Human-Equine Bond

For millennia, horses have worked hard for humans, and today they serve as the ultimate therapists. Here's a look at the important roles horses play in the human experience.

How People Perceive Dogs With Docked Tails and Cropped Ears

New data shows that seeing a dog with a docked tail and cropped ears may cause people to believe that the dog is aggressive and its owner might be aggressive as well.

More Posts on Animal Behavior

The Counterintuitive Case for Cougars

Conservationists believe increasing the cougar population will actually save human lives. Will logic trump our ingrained fear of large predators?

Australia to Kill Goats Using Self-Destructing Dingoes

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on July 25, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Australia's plan to kill goats using dingoes implanted with a time-activated poison challenges conservation psychology and anthrozoology as do New Zealand's "management" plans.

A Day in the Life of a Doggie's Daddy

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on July 22, 2016 in How To Do Life
Details that may help you decide whether to adopt a pooch.

Just Being Near You Is Rewarding for Dogs

A new study suggests that dogs find merely being near humans to be rewarding, even without social interactions.

The Rainbow Link

A new book helps young children process the death of a pet and learn to grieve in healthy ways.

Emotional Support Animals: The Therapist's Dilemma

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on July 19, 2016 in Animals and Us
Should therapists provide letters that will allow their clients to bring dogs on airplanes and have access to no-pets housing?

Revisiting Harry Harlow’s Legacy: Cruelty Towards Monkeys

Iconic figures in psychology need to be more critically scrutinized when their research violates basic principles of ethics and morality. Harry Harlow is put under the spotlight.

United Nations Harmony with Nature Stresses Justice for All

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on July 17, 2016 in Animal Emotions
The U. N.'s harmony with nature initiative stresses global justice in which societies of humans are viewed as part of a wider community that incorporates animal societies.

Models of the Human-Dog Relationship

Which model of the human-dog relationship is most scientifically accurate and morally appropriate?

Bird Brains: Size Doesn't Matter But Number of Neurons Does

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on July 16, 2016 in Animal Emotions
New research shows that "large numbers of neurons concentrated in high densities in the telencephalon substantially contribute to the neural basis of avian intelligence."

Animals as Persons: Can We Scale Intelligence or Sentience?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on July 15, 2016 in Animal Emotions
"When is an animal a person?" Trying to decide is very difficult but many are working on achieving this goal. But, can we truly compare intelligence or sentience across species?

Where Operant Conditioning Went Wrong

By John Staddon, Ph.D. on July 15, 2016 in Adaptive Behavior
Operant conditioning is no longer at the center of experimental psychology: why not?
Four Ways to Keep Your Pets Safe From Drugs

Four Ways to Keep Your Pets Safe From Drugs

You’ve probably thought about how drug use impacts your own health or that of family members, but have you considered how it affects your pets?

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.