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human-animal relationships

Seven Reasons for Unsuccessful Human-Animal Relationships

When the human-animal bond fails We often hear the phrase “human-animal bond.” “Bond” seems to imply that all is warm and fuzzy and positive. But not all human-companion animal relationships are successful. There are complications and, at times, relationships that are downright unsuccessful. Some people who acquire a pet for themselves or for a child have no real capacity to...
are dogs telepathic

A Dog That Seems To Know When His Owner is Coming Home

Videotaped Experiments and Observations Journal of Scientific Exploration 14, 233-255 (2000)by Rupert Sheldrake and Pamela Smart Introduction Many dog owners claim that their animal knows when a member of the household is about to come home. Typically, the dog is said to go and wait at a door, window or gate while the person is on the way home (Sheldrake, 1994, 1999a). Random household...
are dogs more loyal than cats

Are Cats More Socially Inept Than Dogs?

We don't know because of large individual differences among cats and dogs. During the past few days, I've received a number of emails about an essay by Live Science writer Yasemin Saplakoglu called "Cats are too socially inept to be loyal." For headline readers who don't go on to read much more—and sadly there are far too many for whatever reasons—one could easily...
dog movies

‘Stray’: The Fascinating Lives of Free-Ranging Turkish Dogs

Documentary filmmaker Elizabeth Lo’s first full-length feature is a masterpiece. Spoiler alert: No animals are harmed in this film, and definitely, no dogs die. That might be a strange way to start a film review, but in this case, I’m sure the filmmaker, Elizabeth Lo, will understand. She’s said that her impetus for making Stray, her first full-length feature film, was the...
free veterinary care

Underdogs: Treating Needy Pets in Disadvantaged Communities

An important new book looks at dogs' and cats' lives in low-income settings. .ugb-c7760bf .ugb-blockquote__quote{width:70px !important;height:70px !important}The problem of getting basic veterinary services to dogs and cats in low-income communities has suddenly become spotlighted as a major issue facing animal shelters, animal rescue groups, animal control departments, and veterinarians in the United States and abroad. Dogs and cats are "in." Numerous people...
How to make a dog happy

Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy

An interview with Zazie Todd, the author of a wonderful book about dogs. I recently received my long-awaited copy of Dr. Zazie Todd's new book, Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy. Todd is a fellow Psychology Today writer, positive dog trainer, and social psychologist. Having long followed Todd via her Companion Animal Psychology blog, I knew I would really like Wag, and indeed I did. I was thrilled she could...
dogs during pandemic

Dogs vs. Masked Faces: What Are They Thinking and Feeling?

Citizen science can help us understand how dogs react to "faceless" humans. There aren't any sweeping one-size-fits-all explanations even for a single dog. It's well known that many dogs watch us carefully and read our faces very well using specific parts of their brains. Given the prevalence of masked humans, it's not all that surprising that during the past few months I've received numerous emails and in-person queries asking...
how do dogs communicate

Dogs and Cats: Their Brains, Faces, Blinking Eyes, and Us

New research clarifies various aspects of how dogs and cats communicate with us. Two recent essays about dogs and cats caught my eye, and the results of these research projects are well worth considering. There is broad interest in how these very popular companion animals communicate with us, how we communicate with them, and the shared emotions that work like "social glue" to bond...
dogs personality

Does a Human’s Personality Rub Off on Their Dog?

A new study shows some dogs reflect their human's personality during training. This post is in response to Why Some Bad Dogs Bad Behaviors Are Hard to Fix by Stanley Coren In an excellent essay by Psychology Today writer Dr. Stanley Coren called "Why Some Bad Dog Behaviors Are Hard to Fix" summarizing a recent study by Dr. Lauren Powell and her colleagues, we're told that...
dog socialisation

All Our Dogs Are Socially Awkward Now

The pandemic has made dogs "out of practice" socially. In a recent essay in The New York Times called “We’re All Socially Awkward Now,” journalist Kate Murphy suggests that over the course of this pandemic human social skills have begun to get rusty because we are all out of practice. She notes the widespread concern that social distancing or virtual schooling will negatively impact...
emotional support dog

Are Emotional Support Dogs Always a Cure-All?

In one survey, 100% of people say yes. Are they right? I recently read an essay by Lily Velez called "Newly Released Study Reveals Health Benefits of Emotional Support Animals" in which we're told, "All participants reported that their quality of life had noticeably improved with an ESA dog" (my emphasis). In this piece the following data from a joint collaboration between The Assistance Dog...
dog cloning

Cloning Pets

Just one bad idea after another You love your dog or cat. Someday your dog or cat will die. (I’m sorry, but it’s inevitable.) What if you could put aside the genetic materials to make a perfect copy of your beloved animal, a clone of your pet? Would you do it?  This is something we need to think about, as individuals...

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