Essential Reads

How Social Contagion Helps Explain Our Pet Choices

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on August 18, 2017 in Animals and Us
The craze for flat-faced dogs may have been produced by the same mob mentality that produced a wave of euthanization in 1939.

Animals R Us, or Are They?

What is your cat really thinking about?

Are Dogs Getting Cuter?

Dogs that fit Lorenz's 'Kindchenschema' are becoming ever more popular, but at great cost to their welfare.

Heading in The Right Direction: The Brain's Internal Compass

New research reveals how neurons make a sense of direction.

More Posts on Animal Behavior

Dogs: When They Smell Their Pee They Know It's "Me"

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on August 18, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A novel study about self-recognition by dog researcher Alexandra Horowitz taps into what's happening in a dog's brain when their nose goes to work sniffing different odors.

Animal Well-Being, Compassionate Conservation, and Rewilding

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on August 18, 2017 in Animal Emotions
In an interview with the Charter for Animal Compassion's Rob Percival, we discuss the importance of treating other animals with deep respect and the value of personal rewilding.

Crossing the Thin Line to Starvation: Caloric Restriction

Caloric restriction has occurred throughout history during war and famine, but restricting caloric intake while maintaining adequate nutrition may increase our "healthspan."

Wolves and Cows: Individual and Organizational Conflicts

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on August 16, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Killing wolves in Washington causes personal conflicts. Some groups say they're against killing but don't publicly say no, and some individuals who work for them want to but don't.

Does "Tough Love" Produce Better Working Dogs?

Puppies with overly attentive mothers have poorer problem-solving abilities and are less likely to succeed as service dogs.

Zoos Shall Not Kill Healthy Animals: A Moral Imperative

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on August 09, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Zoos kill healthy animals when they don't fit into their breeding program. They call it management euthanasia, but it isn't euthanasia, but rather "zoothanasia," and it should end.

Dogs: Putting Selection for "Tameness" To Sleep

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on August 08, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Mark Derr offers evidence that dogs and humans were made for each other. He argues that sociability, along with a​ delayed onset of fear, were the keys for wolves to become dogs.

What Makes a Dog Notice a Person

Is it the sight of you, the sounds you make, or your scent that is most likely to make a dog aware that you are nearby?

RIP Self-Taming Dump-Divers

By Mark Derr on August 08, 2017 in Dog's Best Friend
A new research papers argues that hypersociability is tied to domestication of dogs.

Sentience is Everywhere: Indeed, It's an Inconvenient Truth

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on August 06, 2017 in Animal Emotions
In a piece called Studies in Sentience Tell Us Ours is a World of Many Centres, Arita Joshi rightfully argues that sentience can be found in all sorts of beings. We are not alone.

Captive: A New Book About Zoos Is a Game Changer

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on August 03, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Renowned photographer Jo-Anne McArthur's new book called "Captive" will touch your heart and soul. The images of zooed animals show just how much needs to be done on their behalf.

Are Dog-Loving Millennials Driving House Prices Up?

More millennials are listing dogs as the biggest factor in their home buying decisions, ahead of marriage and children.

Therapy Dogs for Homesick College Students?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on August 02, 2017 in Animals and Us
Over 900 colleges and universities now have animal-assisted therapy programs for homesick and stressed-out students. How well do they work?

Violence Toward Animals: "Can You Please Help My Daughter?"

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on July 31, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Some New Zealand schools encourage kids to kill animals and partake in the "dead possum dress-up." A request for help and an essay with horrific images resulted in this essay.

Who's Really Defending Wildlife As Wolves Are "Removed"?

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on July 31, 2017 in Animal Emotions
The war on wildlife in the United States presents some very surprising twists as wolves are being set up and sold out and various organizations don't speak out on their behalf.

‘Atta-Boy’: Perfecting the Art of Praise

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on July 28, 2017 in The Dolphin Divide
Meaningful feedback takes practice to provide—and occasionally even requires a bit of social risk.

The Whale Sanctuary Project: Saying No Thanks to Tanks

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on July 27, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Captive cetaceans have highly compromised lives. They need all the help they can get. Dr. Lori Marino tells us about a new project committed to improving individuals' well-being.
"Signage 55 speed limit"/David Lofink/CC BY 2.0

Can We Teach the Rules for Breaking the Rules?

By Barb Cohen on July 27, 2017 in Mom, Am I Disabled?
If I take a box of pens from a store without paying, I commit shoplifting. But suppose I take a box of pens from the office where I work. Will my coworkers judge me a thief?

Have Dogs Specifically Evolved to Eat Bread and Pasta?

Do dogs benefit from a raw meat diet? While wolves are genetically programmed to eat meat, dogs have genes that allow them to digest carbohydrates.

Helping Traumatized Animals with "Hugs, Drugs and Choices"

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on July 24, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Work at Australian sanctuaries offers valuable suggestions for helping traumatized animals overcome the conditions from which they suffer. They feel, they hurt, and they need help.

How Good Is a Dog's Ability to Remember People?

There are suggestions that dogs can remember and may recognize particular people even after years of separation.

Zoo Ethics and the Challenges of Compassionate Conservation

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on July 18, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Jenny Gray's new book called "Zoo Ethics: The Challenges of Compassionate Conservation" is an important contribution to wide-ranging debates about keeping animals in captivity.

Looking for Social Behavior?

An encounter with a species of beetles that pair bonds, communicates with their offspring through sound, and deals with infanticide threats from other pairs.

Imprinting Kids for Violence Toward Animals

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on July 16, 2017 in Animal Emotions
By calling on youngsters to kill animals, many New Zealanders, including educators, are using well-known psychological principles to advance their agenda. Violence begets violence.

Wild Lioness Nurses a Baby Leopard: An Intriguing Odd Couple

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on July 14, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Unexpected friendly encounters among wild carnivores are rare and eye-catching. Called "odd couples," we don't know why they form and it's best to keep an open mind about them.

Scapegoating Possums: Science, Psychology, and Words of War

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on July 11, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Killing possums by youngsters has generated local and global condemnation. The science, psychology, and hype behind New Zealand's war on wildlife are highly questionable.

Unimagined Sensitivities, Part 10

By Michael Jawer on July 09, 2017 in Feeling Too Much
It’s possible that searing trauma – experienced by humans or other creatures similarly endowed – produces effects that are simultaneously physical, emotional, and spiritual.

Long-Term Effects of Violence Toward Animals by Youngsters

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on July 09, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Encouraging youngsters to kill other animals can have devastating and enduring effects. A phenomenon called "the link" should concern New Zealanders as they wage war on wildlife.

Animal Heartbreak: Each Individual's Feelings Matter to Them

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on July 08, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Two things people misunderstand about animals is that each individual’s feelings are important to them and "smarter" animals don't suffer more than "less intelligent" animals.

How Strong Is Children's Attachment to Their Pets?

By Zazie Todd Ph.D. on July 07, 2017 in Fellow Creatures
The friendship and caring behaviors children show toward their pet are linked to attachment to the pet.