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

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 author of Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy. She is the founder of the popular blog Companion Animal Psychology, where she writes about everything from training methods to the human-canine relationship. She also writes a column for Psychology Today and has received the prestigious Captain Haggerty Award for Best Training Article in 2017. Todd lives in Maple Ridge, BC, with her husband and two cats.

Useful links:
This page contains affiliate links.

All images used under license from Shutterstock.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. As an Etsy affiliate, I earn from qualifying Etsy purchases.


  1. Yes, Companion Animal Psychology IS a fabulous resource!! Congratulations on your 5-year anniversary, and I'm looking forward to many more fascinating and insightful articles to come! :-)

    1. Thank you, Camille. I look forward to reading many more of your blog posts too!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Don't Punish Your Dog for Peeing in the House

What Is Positive Punishment in Dog Training?

What is Negative Reinforcement in Dog Training?