Companion Animal Psychology News June 2017

Favourite posts, photos and podcasts of the last month.

June 2017 news about dogs and cats

By Zazie Todd, PhD

Some of my favourites from around the web

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“None of us see animals clearly.  They’re too full of the stories we’ve given them.” What animals taught me about being human by Helen MacDonald

Can dogs help solve our childhood obesity problem? Hal Herzog PhD on childhood obesity and dog ownership.

Sniffing kitten butts for science  to find out how mother cats recognize their kittens, by Mikel Delgado PhD.

Should we call these canine behaviours calming signals? By Karen London PhD at The Bark. Be sure to also read the comment from Dr. Chiara Mariti, and this piece by Marc Bekoff  PhD that has been updated to include Dr. Mariti's comments.

"Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: My dog used to love to play with other dogs, and then one day she didn’t." Tracy Krulik on dog-dog reactivity.

“Making a fearful dog's life better is a long game.” Living with and loving a fearful dog, by Casey McGee at Upward Hound.

If you need a cheerful story, read this: It takes a village… love hope and a lucky Penny by Lori Nanan from Your Pit Bull and You.

Pets in the news

Important new position statement from International Cat Care on declawing in cats  “The operation to declaw does not just remove the claw, but also the end bone of the toe (equivalent to removing the end of a finger to the first joint in humans).”

Earliest evidence for dog breeding found on remote Siberian island.

Animal abuse in some form is present in 89% of domestic violence cases.

Canada needs laws to prevent the euthanization of healthy pets, says lawyer.

Diabetes-sniffing cat Charlie is a lifeline for his owner.

The Economist wonders whether emotional support animals should be allowed in the cabin of planes.

A massive study of ancient and modern cat genomes reveals an interesting history.

Sadly, a ban on the docking of puppy’s tails has been scrapped in Scotland after MSPs vote to allow exemptions. You can read Dogs Trust’s response here.

And senior nurses in the UK say pets should be allowed to visit their owners in hospital.


But my dog isn’t food motivated. Webinar by Kathy Sdao for Doggone Safe 28th June 2017

A brief history of corporal punishment by Jean Donaldson for Doggone Safe 5th July 2017

Dr. Clive Wynne Behavioural solutions to behavioural problems. 29th July 2017 in Melbourne, Australia

Photos, videos and podcasts

Dog photographer of the year 2017.

Cones of fame turns dreaded collars into fashionable accessories that help shelter dogs find homes.

Why do dogs have whiskers? Featuring Dr Jessica Hekman.

Adorable animal photos by Gerry Slade help rehome unwanted pets in Bury.

Why are some animals pets and others are lunch? Featuring Dr Hal Herzog.

Learn to sniff like a dog and experience the world in a new way. The Invisibilia podcast from NPR spoke to Dr. Alexandra Horowitz.

Here at Companion Animal Psychology

There’s still time to purchase a Companion Animal Psychology t-shirt. 100% of the proceeds go to help animals at the BCSPCA Maple Ridge. Thanks to everyone who has bought one!

29 blogs took part in the Train for Rewards blog party, which was on its second year of celebrating and encouraging reward-based training. Dogs, cats, and even a pet pig featured in the posts. As well as enjoying the posts themselves, it’s a chance to find new bloggers to follow. Don’t miss it.

My interview with Dr. Christy Hoffman has had a wonderful response, and I also published a post about her recent research (with Dr. Malini Suchak) on dog rivalry.

This month, the Companion Animal Psychology book club has been reading The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions by Thomas McNamee. The book club takes July off, but stay tuned to find out August’s pick.

And finally, I chatted to Colleen Pelar and Julie Fudge Smith at Your Family Dog Podcast about how to make happy dogs even happier.

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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