Companion Animal Psychology Turns Five

Celebrating five years of communicating science about dogs, cats, and the human-animal bond.

A happy Australian Shepherd puppy dog in a party hat

By Zazie Todd, PhD

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It’s hard to believe it is five years since I started Companion Animal Psychology blog, and yet somehow this is my 278th post.

The aims of the blog remain twofold: to bring up-to-date science about people’s relationships with their pets to a wider audience; and to share evidence-based information about how to care for our cats and dogs.

These aims are nicely illustrated by the two most popular posts of the last year: losing a pet can lead to different types of grief and dominance training deprives dogs of positive experiences. The top post on cats was about the best scratching posts.

In the past twelve months, I’ve been able to bring you some excellent guest posts as well as interviews with Dr. Sarah Ellis, Jean Donaldson, and Dr. Lee Dugatkin. And the photos of happy dogs (and more happy dogs) that people have shared with me have made me very happy too.

A happy mutt dog in a party hat celebrating dog science

I’ve published some useful guides, including how to choose a dog trainer and a user-friendly guide to using positive reinforcement in dog training, not to mention seven reasons to use reward-based dog training.

I hosted the Train for Rewards blog party because reward-based training is for all our pets (shall we do it again?).

I’ve published stories about lots of cool new scientific research (see e.g. here, here, and here). And I’ve maintained my list of dog training research resources for those who want to know what science tells us about dog training.

A kitten peeks out of a wooden box
A fifth anniversary is a "wood" anniversary

I started the Companion Animal Psychology Book Club in November 2016. Members choose the books and April's book is The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell.

Even if I say it myself, I think all this means Companion Animal Psychology is a fabulous resource for people with pets.

So it’s nice to reach five years with good news. I now have a blog at Psychology Today called Fellow Creatures. My first post is about what pets mean to homeless people. And I’m delighted to say my book, Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy has been acquired by Greystone Books.

Thank you to everyone who has liked, shared and commented on my posts. One of the best things about Companion Animal Psychology is the community of people I have come to know through it.

A happy Golden Retriever sticks his head out of a car window

Special thanks to my dog training mentor, Jean Donaldson, and to my agent, Trena White of Transatlantic Agency.

Five years feels like quite a milestone. So it’s time to celebrate. Cheers!

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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All images used under license from Shutterstock.

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