Summer Reading

If you’re looking for some summer reading, here are some favourite stories, photos, and even a short film - plus the chance for your pet's photo to appear on Companion Animal Psychology.

A beautiful border collie in a summer meadow with daisies
Photo: Dora Zett/Shutterstock

By Zazie Todd, PhD

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“Volunteering to build fences can help deliver dogs (and their owners) from chains.” Freeing dogs with fences by Bronwen Dickey.

Julie Hecht on pointing: “this one little gesture, in all its complexity, could be a core feature of the intimate bond we share with dogs.”

I was saddened to learn of the imminent demise of the science blogging site The news led me to revisit one of my favourite posts in which Prof. Malcolm Campbell writes about what the dog really saw. “If ever you need to be reminded that we each have our own way of looking at the world, take a dog for a walk at night.” (If you don’t already, follow him on twitter for six incredible things before breakfast and links to all the best science writing).

“Those of us with dogs who will do a rocket recall have simply put to use a fancy technology: we throw pizza parties every time they come to us.” Casey McGee (Upward Hound dog training, River Falls) explains how to teach an excellent recall. Cheese!

The cat guardians of Singapore by Anna Jones.

Recently in BC three animal cruelty cases have relied on behavioural evidence to support the idea of emotional suffering. In the emotional suffering of animals Pete McMartin writes about these cases and the pioneering work of animal behaviourist Dr. Rebecca Ledger.

A two-part series on helping cats and babies get along by Dr. Sarah Ellis at Katzenworld blog: Helping your cat to get ready to accept the new arrival and helping your cat cope with a new addition.

Highlights from the 5th Canine Science Forum by Mia Cobb and Julie Hecht at Do You Believe in Dog?

In May, a study on a genetic mutation in some Labradors that is linked to obesity caused much excitement. Jessica Perry Hekman DVM wrote two FAQs about the study, one for everyone and a more in-depth version for those who would like to know more.

Assessing shelter dog behaviour to determine adoption suitability: Meaningful or misleading? Dr. Kate Mornement writes about her research on the challenges of assessing shelter dogs; a guest post for Dr. Jo Righetti's blog.

Have you ever considered whether cats can count? Mikel Delgado looks at some recent research.

Senior citizens and the cats and dogs they love by David Rosenberg looks at the latest project of photographer David Williams.

How dogs get older. Amanda Jones photographed the same dogs when they were young and then when they were old.

These portraits prove old dogs are the best by Jordan G Teicher on Nancy Levine’s photos of elderly dogs.

And finally, don't miss this short animation, The Present.

Reward-based training is for all our pets: If you train your pet with rewards and would like their photo to feature on Companion Animal Psychology, you can tweet it to me (@CompAnimalPsych) with the hashtag #Train4Rewards or share it in the comments on this post on Facebook. Please ensure you have copyright of the photo. The best will be included in a future post.

Zazie Todd, PhD, is the award-winning author of Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy and Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Happy. She is the creator of the popular blog, Companion Animal Psychology, writes The Pawsitive Post premium newsletter, and also has a column at Psychology Today. Todd lives in Maple Ridge, BC, with her husband, one dog, and two cats. 

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