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Showing posts from April, 2020

Beating the Boredom Blues: Sniffing Out New Opportunities for Dogs

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7 scent-based tips to try at home - and the benefits for dogs.
Guest post by Sienna Taylor and John Binks 


For many dog owners, COVID-19 has positively benefitted their relationship with their dog.  Restrictions on human movement has involved us spending more time with our dogs, providing us with companionship and making us feel less isolated in these uncertain times.  Greater restrictions have also provided a newfound opportunity for dogs to spend more time with their humans! For a number of dogs though, changes in routine can be unsettling.

Here in the UK, we are currently restricted to exercising once a day only. With limited opportunity to walk our dogs and undertake less exercise, some dog owners may have noticed a change in their dogs’ behaviour. Pawing and nudging for attention, sitting and staring at you whilst you are working from home – sound familiar? My dogs’ favourite trick is to ‘say hello’ and bark during my video conference calls! When dogs are bored they tend to look e…

Fellow Creatures: An Excerpt from Wag

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Over at my Psychology Today blog, Fellow Creatures, you can read an excerpt from my book Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy.

When we get a dog, we imagine a long, beautiful friendship, kind of like a canine equivalent of walking off into the sunset to live happily ever after. But it doesn’t always happen.

In this excerpt from Wag I write about the importance of understanding dogs' needs, and how it helps us to make dogs happier.

You can buy Wag via my Amazon store https://www.amazon.com/shop/animalbookclub,  via Indiebound (your local independent bookstore in the US), via your local Canadian indie, and in all good bookstores.

Photo: Krystian Beben/Pexels.

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 Hag…

Why We Love and Exploit Animals: An Interview with Kristof Dhont and Gordon Hodson

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"We recognized that we were creating the book, in large part, to benefit animals more than ourselves."



By Zazie Todd, PhD

Why We Love and Exploit Animals: Bridging Insights from Academia and Advocacy is a new volume co-edited by Dr. Kristof Dhont (University of Kent, UK) and Dr. Gordon Hodson (Brock University, Canada). This is a groundbreaking book that includes chapters by leading academics and animal advocates on our complicated relationship with animals. I interviewed Kristof Dhont and Gordon Hodson about the book.

This page contains affiliate links.


Zazie: Why did you decide to put this book together?

Gordon: We wanted to READ a book that bridged academia and front line animal activism, but it didn’t exist, so we decided to make it happen ourselves. Rather than write the book ourselves, however, we sought a true diversity of opinion, so we decided to play the role of editors instead, soliciting chapters from people we respected and admired. We are both academics and enjoy a…

Companion Animal Psychology News April 2020

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The effects of quarantine on dogs, dog poop in history, the cone of shame, and wasps... this month's Companion Animal Psychology news.



By Zazie Todd, PhD

My favourites this month “Our drive to keep animals, dogs in particular, strikes me as similar in nature: Their simple presence, and their willingness to be touched, is viscerally satisfying." Dogs, at least, love home quarantine, by Alexandra Horowitz.

“If we are home all day, it totally disrupts what they would normally be doing with their schedule.” This Guelph Today article by Kenneth Armstrong, Consider how self-quarantine is affecting your pet, includes quotes from Dr. Lee Niel.

“You are not alone if you are having a hard time being at your best with your anxious dog.“ Life in quarantine with an anxious dog – 5 things I am doing by Suzanne Bryner.

“There are plenty of DIY projects waiting to be done and—while you’re stuck at home and if you’re lucky enough to have a dog—why not give DIY dog training a go? “ DIY dog trai…

Fellow Creatures: Dogs' Happiness is What Counts

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Although we've traditionally thought about dogs' obedience, we should really be thinking about happiness.

By Zazie Todd, PhD

In a new post over at my Psychology Today blog Fellow Creatures, I look at the reasons why there is a shift to thinking about dog's happiness instead of simply expecting them to obey. When behaviour issues stem from a failure to meet a dog's needs, thinking about obedience is missing the point. And focusing on happy dogs is better for us, as well as them. Take a look, in why dog's happiness, not obedience, is what counts.


Photo: Studio 7042/Stocksnap.

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, B…

Invitation to the Wag Yappy Hour

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Your invitation to the Wag Yappy Hour with Zazie Todd, PhD.



You are invited to the Wag Yappy Hour! Zazie will do a couple of short readings from her book, Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy. You can ask questions about the writing of the book or how to have an even happier dog. And a copy of Wag will be given away!

Bring a drink and snacks, and tell your friends. Dogs welcome.

The Wag Yappy Hour will take place on the Companion Animal Psychology Facebook page at 5pm Pacific/8pm EST on Wednesday, 22nd April. You can sign up at the event page.


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…

How will the economic fallout of COVID-19 affect pets?

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Recession can increase relinquishment of pets and reduce adoptions. What will the economic effects of COVID-19 be on pets?


By Zazie Todd, PhD

In the news, we’ve seen heartening stories of people choosing to adopt shelter pets at this time. For example, in late March it was reported that adoptions from the BC SPCA were on the rise, and the Washington Post reports that people are fostering dogs, cats, and chickens to cope with social isolation. But COVID-19 has also caused many people to lose their jobs, and today the WTO predicts global trade will fall by 13-32%. What effect will the economic fallout of the pandemic have on pets?

Of course it is hard to predict what will happen, but we do know that economic recession can have an impact on pet relinquishments and adoptions.

The effects of recession on companion animals Several studies have looked at the effects of the 2008 recession on companion animals. One study looked at the rates of foreclosure in different neighbourhoods in Turlock,…

Companion Animal Psychology Book Club April 2020

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“Zazie Todd does dogs the immeasurably good favor of taking their happiness seriously.”--Alexandra Horowitz, author of Our Dogs, Ourselves.



By Zazie Todd, PhD

Over the last three and a half years, the Animal Book Club has read 34 wonderful books about animals by many incredible authors, with a range of new books and classics. So I'm absolutely thrilled that this month, book club members have chosen to read my own book, Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy.

This page contains affiliate links.


From the back cover,

"Dogs and humans share a special bond, but that doesn't mean we always understand what our pets are thinking and feeling. Zazie Todd distills current science to demystify the inner lives of dogs, and shares practical recommendations from leading veterinarians, researchers, and trainers. Clearly written and filled with personal anecdotes, Wag offers tips on how we can make the world better for dogs.- from properly socializing puppies to reducing stress at the ve…

COVID-19’s Impacts on the Human-Dog Relationship

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All the time we are spending at home due to COVID-19 impacts the nature of the human-dog relationship. Both humans and dogs have the potential to benefit from this arrangement.
Guest post by Christy Hoffman, PhD.


The nature of the human-dog relationship has changed in recent weeks due to COVID-19 and all the restrictions placed on human movement. Most dogs in the United States have years of experience spending their days alone while the adults in the household work and the children attend school. Now, in many cases, the entire family is under the same roof 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Below, Dr. Christy Hoffman, animal behaviorist and director of the Anthrozoology Master’s program at Canisius College (Buffalo, NY), describes ways in which this new arrangement may be beneficial to human-dog relationships. In addition, she identifies reasons why this new situation requires thoughtful consideration.


Generations of dog enthusiasts have bred dogs who show great affinity toward humans, and…

The PPG Virtual Summit - and a Wag Giveaway

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There will be 8 speakers (including me) at the Pet Professional Guild's Virtual Summit April 2nd-3rd.



By Zazie Todd, PhD

The Pet Professional Guild's Virtual Summit takes place April 2nd - 3rd and there is still time to register.

There will be 8 speakers: Dr. Kathy Murphy, Dr. Karolina Westlund, Dr. Nick Thompson, Dr. Morag Heirs, Malena DeMartini, Dr. Robert Hewings, Dr. Juliane Kaminski, and myself. You can choose to attend live or watch the recordings later.

My talk is on implementing science-based training in shelter and rescue. At the end of my talk, I will be giving away 5 copies of my book, Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy.

The Virtual Summit celebrates a new program from the PPG called The Pet Rescue Resource, which has been designed specifically to help pet rescue and shelter organizations. The Pet Rescue Resource launches on 2nd April, but you can get a sneak preview of what to expect in this blog from the Academy for Dog Trainers.

The Virtual Summit is open …