Essential Reads

Trumping Animals and Their Homes: Seeing Light in Dark Times

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 23, 2017 in Animal Emotions
It's a tough time for animals. We need to overcome negativity, resist compassion and empathy fatigue, maintain hope, and keep our dreams alive.

Why Are Crowded City Dwellers Living the Slow Life?

The big city means the fast life, unrestricted sexuality, street gangs, and hordes of uncaring people. Right? Maybe not, according to a recently published series of studies.

Two Captive Elephants Save a Youngster From Drowning

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 22, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A 45-second video of a young elephant named Hope being saved by two adults could change people's views about the emotional lives of other animals. Watch them keep Hope alive.

Aggression and Fear Can Be Reduced in Specific Dog Breeds

New data provides a possible alternative to breed-specific legislation to control aggression and fearfulness in dogs.

More Posts on Animal Behavior

Australia's War on Wildlife: Why Welfare Fails Individuals

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 17, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A study of shooting feral horses from helicopters raises many ethical questions about "Killing For Conservation" (KFC).
Courtesy, Marty Nemko

Doggie Tips

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on June 15, 2017 in How To Do Life
Ensuring yours is a joy

Dog Obedience Trials Began Because of Poodles and a Farmer

A woman's desire to prove that Poodles were not stupid useless dogs ultimately gave birth to modern dog obedience trials

Switzerland: Fish Need Friends, Dogs Need Competent Humans

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 11, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Swiss animal protection laws set an admirable standard. Guinea pigs and goldfish must have companions, dogs must be exercised, and clipping their ears and tails is forbidden.

What Dogs Can Teach Us about the Main Cause of Depression

Psychologists have long pondered what is the cause, and the evolutionary purpose, of depressed feelings. Dogs have the answer.

Pet Loss and Youngsters: It's the "Worst Day of Their Lives"

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 08, 2017 in Animal Emotions
An essay by Juli Fraga called "When a Pet Dies, Helping Children Through the ‘Worst Day of Their Lives’" is a must read for everyone who has kids and a companion animal.

What Are Canine Calming Signals and Do They Work?

New data shows that of 30 different cataloged calming signals in dogs, some of them do, in fact, reduce the level of aggression in dogs that see them.

Unimagined Sensitivities, Part 6

By Michael Jawer on June 04, 2017 in Feeling Too Much
Many creatures are known to become agitated before natural disasters. Emotional information – warnings – may be what they’re able to derive through infrasound or other means.

Accompaniment: An Ethic Beyond Accidental Fences

By G.A. Bradshaw PhD, PhD on June 03, 2017 in Bear in Mind
Liberation psychologists and Wild Turkeys show us how to transform from an anthropocentric "them" to a trans-species "us" worldview.

Unimagined Sensitivities, Part 5

By Michael Jawer on June 03, 2017 in Feeling Too Much
Elephants are able to detect and use infrasound, which radiates below the threshold of human hearing. Infrasound can travel vast distances unimpeded by land, air, or water.

Unimagined Sensitivities, Part 4

By Michael Jawer on June 02, 2017 in Feeling Too Much
Orcas have a unique ability to ‘transmit’ a sense of who they are—and ‘probe’ the people they’re with.

A Hierarchy of Dog Needs: Abraham Maslow Meets the Mutts

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 31, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Linda Michaels' force-free training, adapted from Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of human needs, stresses gentle care and treatment, rewards, and choice. Being nice to your dog is key.

Taking One's Cue from Others

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on May 31, 2017 in The Human Beast
All social animals are affected by what others around them are doing. Humans are no exception.

False Courage: Why We Pretend We’re Stronger Than We Are

How the art of bluffing helps us stand tall. When courage is called for, a good bluff can turn the tides of fortune and upend expected outcomes.

Dogs Steal in the Dark

Dogs can recognize what we are paying attention to and what we are likely able to see. They then can take advantage of that situation to steal or do things that they shouldn't

Why Intrusive Thoughts Are like My Cat Abraham

By Joel Minden, Ph.D. on May 30, 2017 in CBT and Me
Intrusive thoughts are like cats. The less you try to be the boss, the easier it is to peacefully coexist.

Unimagined Sensitivities, Part 3

By Michael Jawer on May 29, 2017 in Feeling Too Much
Dolphins and killer whales possess a seeming capability to read minds that human beings neither possess nor suspect.

Monkeys Who Rob and Barter, Steal, and Then Ransom the Goods

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 29, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Some so-called "mafia monkeys" living near an Indonesian temple have learned to steal and then sell back stolen goods to their owners. Not all monkeys run this ransom racket.

Unimagined Sensitivities, Part 2

By Michael Jawer on May 27, 2017 in Feeling Too Much
When elephants encounter their dead, they become quiet and tense.They also become agitated at the imminent death of a fellow. These behaviors are suggestive of mourning and grief.

Unimagined Sensitivities, Part 1

By Michael Jawer on May 27, 2017 in Feeling Too Much
While it would seem to be the end of sensitivity, death actually conjures up an amazing range of accounts that are highly relevant to sensitivity, in humans and many other animals.

A Grieving Gorilla: A Picture That's Worth Entire Courses

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 27, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A photo of a sad orphaned gorilla and a comforting human raises numerous questions about what other animals think and feel and the emotions shared in human-animal relationships.

Can You Understand the Different Types of Dog Growls?

Not all dog growls are equivalent. Particular sound components determine how we interpret any growl.
Witthaya Phonsawat/123RF

Can Dogs Help Solve Our Childhood Obesity Problem?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on May 23, 2017 in Animals and Us
What should we make of claims about the impact of dogs on obesity in children and teenagers?

Goofing Off: Psychological & Physical Benefits of Having Fun

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 19, 2017 in Animal Emotions
Playing for the hell of it, simply because it's fun, is very important to do. Nonhuman animals do it with great vigor and joy, and so too should human animals. It's good for all.

Dominance in Free-Ranging Dogs: Age and Social Tolerance

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 18, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A detailed study of five packs of unowned free-ranging mixed-breed dogs in different areas of Italy shows they form age-graded linear dominance hierarchies with little fighting.


What does freedom really mean?

How Important Is Your Dog in Your Family and Social Life?

New data shows just how significant a part of our social and family lives our dogs have become.

Dogs Growl Honestly and Women Understand Better Than Men

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 17, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A new study shows humans can classify dog growls and women do it better than men. Dogs honestly communicate their size and emotions in serious contests but less so during play.

Even Vegans Die: Leaving a Legacy of Caring and Compassion

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 17, 2017 in Animal Emotions
A new book called "Even Vegans Die" is a valuable guide for animal advocates. It empowers people to make the best decisions regarding their own health and advocacy for animals.

Grief in Prairie Dogs: Mourning a Death in the Family

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 16, 2017 in Animal Emotions
I saw a unique interaction between an adult prairie dog and road-killed youngster. She pulled the corpse off the road, touched it lightly, and vocalized, perhaps saying good-bye.