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Showing posts from May, 2020

New Initiative Aims to Improve Feline Wellbeing

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International Cat Care wants to improve people’s understanding of cats’ mental health Photo: siekierski photo/Shutterstock. By Zazie Todd, PhD This page contains affiliate links which means I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you. Cats’ wellbeing isn’t just about physical health; mental health is important too. A new initiative from International Cat Care aims to improve cats’ wellbeing. They have set up the iCatCare Feline Wellbeing Panel, an international group of 26 experts who can work together on feline behaviour and welfare issues. Last year, a survey of experts published in Veterinary Record found that the biggest welfare concern for pet cats is behaviour issues because of a poor home environment . Cats have species-specific needs, such as what cats  need in their environment . When cats’ needs are not met, it is stressful for them. This in turn can lead to behavioural issues and also affect their physical health. Helping the public to unders

Survey Shows Which Treatments Are Effective for Fireworks Fears in Dogs

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Ad-hoc counter-conditioning and relaxation training work, say owners, but many other treatments don’t. Photo: Elisa Emiliani/Pixabay By Zazie Todd, PhD This page contains affiliate links which means I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you. Many dogs are afraid of the bangs and whistles from fireworks, up to half according to one study . A new, large survey by Dr. Stefanie Riemer (University of Bern) shows that treatments involving food and play are effective – but many other popular treatments are not rated as successful, according to people using them. The standard recommended treatment for fireworks fears is desensitization and counter-conditioning (DSCC) using recordings of fireworks noises. The sounds are initially played very quietly at a level the dog is happy with, and over time the volume is gradually increased (the desensitization part). In addition, while the sounds are playing, the dog is offered very nice treats (the counter-conditioni

Wag Happy Dogs: A Photo Post (Part 2)

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More gorgeous dogs pose with their copy of Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy. Logan (right) and Maya. Photo: Jasmine Molloy By Zazie Todd PhD This page contains affiliate links which means I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you. On Wednesday, I shared some beautiful photos of dogs posing with their copies of Wag . The photos were taken by members of the Wag Team, and they are one of the lovely things about my book launch. So here is a second set of gorgeous photos. If you don’t yet have your copy of Wag, you can  find your local Canadian indie here , order via your local US indie on  Indiebound , support independent stores by buying on  Bookshop  (US only), or order via  my Amazon store  (affiliate link). The top photo shows Jasmine Molloy's dogs, Logan and Maya. India. Photo: Dawn Birt. “We got mail.” Akela. Photo: Kjersti Bjontegaard. “Puppy with Wag.” Bjorn. Photo: Eva McClain. Mausi (left) and Djimba. Photo: Ev

Wag Happy Dogs: A Photo Post (Part 1)

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Gorgeous dogs pose with their copy of Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy. Sidney. Photo: Susanne Shearling By Zazie Todd PhD This page contains affiliate links which means I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you. Back in early February when the world was normal, COVID-19 didn’t even have a name yet, and I was building up to an exciting book launch, I invited readers of Companion Animal Psychology to join my launch team . Expecting around 20 or 30 people to join, I was amazed that 100 people completed my application form and signed up. One of the things they agreed to do was post a photo of their dog on social media with a copy of the book. For me, seeing these photos was one of the best things about my book launch, and so here I share a selection of those photos. None of us knew that we would be launching Wag into a pandemic in which in-person events and media would have to be cancelled, bookstores would have to close, and Amazon would tempora

Guest Post on The Difference Husbandry Training Makes

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Today I have a guest post on husbandry over at the Academy for Dog Trainers blog. By Zazie Todd, PhD People often delay taking their dog to the vet because they know the dog will find it stressful. My post takes a look at husbandry training and how it can help prepare dogs to go the vet for both routine and more specialist visits. The post blends a personal story with what science tells us. You can read it here: The difference husbandry training makes to veterinary visits . Photo: visivastudio/Shutterstock. This page contains affiliate links which means I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you. 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,

Companion Animal Psychology News May 2020

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Pet stress, dancers and dogs, and why two kittens are better than one... This month's Companion Animal Psychology news. By Zazie Todd, PhD This page contains affiliate links which means I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you. My Favourites This Month “Why is one piece of advice so easy to follow, and the other so hard? We animal lovers who follow science-based training methods know the answer.” Don’t think about red (or touch your face) by Dr. Patricia McConnell . "Understanding how we poison other animals and their homes is among the most important projects facing conservation, evolutionary biologists, and environmental scientists." Dr. Marc Bekoff on new research on how pollution affects the personality and cognition of fishes . Pet stress has increased during COVID-19, bringing behaviour problems . This great piece by Genevieve Rajewski includes advice from VB Dr. Stephanie Borns-Weil of Tufts Vet . “By choosing a breed base

Flat Collars Risk Damage to Dogs’ Necks if They Pull or You Jerk the Leash

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Don’t use leash jerks, and if your dog pulls on leash, walk them on a harness, as new research shows the potential pressure applied to a dog’s neck by the use of a flat collar. Photo: Ann Lillie/Shutterstock

The International Dog Behaviour Conference

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The International Dog Behaviour Conference is online this weekend. By Zazie Todd, PhD This weekend, I will be speaking at the International Dog Behaviour conference organized by Victoria Stilwell. My talk is about Helping Dogs Be Happy (or Even Happier). As well as myself, there is a wonderful line-up of speakers: Victoria Stilwell Holly Root-Gutteridge Sarah Fisher J. Nicole Smith Sherry Woodard Sarah Heath Clive Wynne I am really excited for the conference! You can find out more details of the Dog Behaviour Conference here . This page contains affiliate links which means I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you. 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,

Companion Animal Psychology Book Club May 2020

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"The most thought-provoking book ever written on dog behaviour and training." By Zazie Todd, PhD This page contains affiliate links which means I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you. This month, the Animal Book Club is reading a classic of the dog training literature: Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson. From the back cover, "Generations of dogs have been labeled training-lemons for requiring actual motivation when all along they were perfectly normal. Numerous other completely and utterly normal dogs have been branded as canine misfits simply because they grew up to act like dogs. Barking, chewing, sniffing, licking, jumping up, and occasionally, (just like people), having arguments, is as normal and natural for dogs as wagging tails and burying bones. However, all dogs need be taught how to modify their normal and natural behaviours to adjust to human culture. Sadly, all too often, when the dog's way of life conflicts with human

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