Companion Animal Psychology News July 2020

Dogs learning to detect COVID-19, cats' whiskers, and fostering in lockdown... this month's CAP news.

Companion Animal Psychology News July 2020


By Zazie Todd, PhD

My Favourites This Month

“The news that dogs such as Asher could be deployed to detect Covid-19 might have an “and finally…” ring to it. But there is serious science behind the idea.” Winning by a nose: the dogs being trained to detect COVID-19 by Tim Lewis. 

“The question that emerges from this controversy is whether or not whisker stress is real, or just a made up marketing ploy to sell everyone new food dishes for their cats. Finally, science comes to the rescue!” Whisker stress: Science asks if it is real. Great write-up by Dr. Mikel Delgado of some new research on cats’ preferences for eating bowls. The results might not be what you think, but what does your kitty prefer? 
 
“In fact, many trainers are finding that holding classes and private sessions online via videoconference is more than a stopgap: There are advantages for them, for their clients and for dogs.”  Linda Lombardi on how virtual training can be good for trainers, owners, and dogs.  

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“But as tempting as it may sound to have a furry friend to comfort you these days, there is much to consider before you bring an animal into your home, not the least of which is the fact that animals will forever be dependent on you” What you need to do before bringing home a new pet by Elizabeth Mayhew. 

“It was a month into lockdown 1.0. The entire nation had the same idea. Everyone was wanting to foster, adopt, buy or rescue a dog.” Brigid Delaney on trying to foster a dog during the lockdown

“Hart said there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to health risks and the age at which a dog is neutered.” When should you neuter your dog to avoid health risks? By Amy Quinton  

Different Perspectives. Hannah Branigan’s podcast on the experiences of BIPOC in the dog training industry, with Dr. Eduardo J. Fernandez as moderator and panellists Jio Alcaide, Taylor Barconey, Cecilia Erhabor, and Ayoka Bubar – especially interesting because of the different perspectives from the UK, Canada, and the US.    

Animal Book Club

The Companion Animal Psychology Book Club takes July off, but if you want to get ahead on next month’s book, it’s The Eye of the Trainer by Ken Ramirez. We will be closing to new members again for a while so if you want to join us for this discussion, please sign up soon.

You are also welcome to join the Animal Books Facebook group for general chit chat about books about animals. 

All of the books we've read so far are available in my Amazon store: https://www.amazon.com/shop/animalbookclub

Online Talk Next Week

On 21st July, I will be doing a virtual event for the Hub City Bookshop. Come and hear me read from the book and ask me any questions you have about the writing process or the book itself. The ticket price includes a copy of Wag, and I have sent bookplates and buttons to the store. You can get your ticket here

New Wag Review

"If you've ever wondered what your pet is thinking and feeling, this book is a great place to start." I was thrilled to see Wag reviewed by Wunderdog magazine.

Wag and Wunderdog magazine


There are links to buy Wag (including from your local indie) here

Discount on Merch

Get a 10% discount on all Companion Animal Psychology merch with PR code CAPNEWS, valid until 11.59pm Pacific time on Monday 20th July.

Dogs are Terrific tee
This is the Dogs are TERRIFIC! tee in chocolate brown.
Other designs, including logo tees, are available too.


Support me on Ko-Fi

Ko-Fi supporters help keep Companion Animal Psychology going! Without your support I would not be able to keep bringing you posts about how to care for dogs and cats. 


This month, I’d like to say a big thank you to Sandy Crosby, Dr. Jill Bradshaw, and an anonymous person for your support. You are awesome and I thank you very much!

Here at Companion Animal Psychology

I spoke to The Upgrade podcast about how to make your pet happy and subsequently Lifehacker wrote about why you should feed your cat 5 times a day

I was interviewed by MEL magazine for this article on how your dog watches you use the bathroom because they love you.  

I have an article in the current issue of Modern Dog magazine on what to do if your puppy is crying.

Over at my Fellow Creatures blog, I wrote about pioneers, mentors and diversity in animal behaviour. I also have a new post with some tips on avoiding puppy mills: why it’s buyer beware when it comes to puppies

I wrote about the factors involved in dog’s fear of strangers and unfamiliar dogs. Dr. Marc Bekoff mentioned this post on his blog, why do some dogs fear strange dogs and unfamiliar humans

I wrote about some new research that found dogs, but not pigs, look to people for help when faced with an unsolvable task. I also wrote about how long pet dogs in America live and there’s some good news from this study, as the median life span is longer than found in some other research.  


Phew! It's no wonder I'm tired. I look forward to taking a bit of time off in August.

Animals in Art

Beatrix Potter is well known for her tales about animals. This month, I’m suggesting you take a look at some of the pictures in the Victoria and Albert Museums Beatrix Potter collection. The images are copyright so you’ll have to get there with this link

Look out for the picture of the Lady Mouse curtsying, Lady Rabbit and Gentleman Rabbit, and a very nice cat.


Zazie Todd, PhD, is the best-selling 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.

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