Companion Animal Psychology News May 2021

Misunderstanding dogs, where a cat's butt goes, puppies, and teenagers... this month's Companion Animal Psychology news.

Companion Animal Psychology News May 2021

By Zazie Todd, PhD

My favourites this month

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“Rather than requiring human owners to change their lives to accommodate a new dog, the French bulldog is a breed that’s been broken to accommodate us.” The very cute, totally disturbing tale, of the American ‘It’ dog by Tove K Danovich. 

“Sometimes reframing how someone is describing their dog's behavior and the context in which it's occurring is enough to change and correct their perspective and understanding of what's happening.” The perils of mis-labelling dog-appropriate behavior by Dr. Marc Bekoff and Mary Angilly. 

"The puppy period is such a fleeting part of your dog's life." Puppy priorities: What really matters in the first few weeks by Vanessa Charbonneau.

“One of the most amazing things I have ever witnessed involved an otherwise unprepossessing house cat named Billy.” Why animals don’t get lost by Kathryn Schulz.

“And, almost overnight it seems, they are blowing you off when you call them to leave the dog park or come inside from the backyard.” I’m sorry to inform you, you have a teenager by Tim Steele  

“When Black veterinarians are trying to decide whether a job opportunity at a practice is right for them, in addition to the usual matters of salary, hours, and benefits, they have to make a series of determinations solely on the basis of their race.” Being black in a white profession by Dr. R. Scott Nolen. 

“It’s the one thing about which our pointy-eared companions are not terribly picky: If it fits, they sits. And when they do, we humans can’t help but obsess over them.” Pay no attention to that cat inside a box by Katherine Wu. 

“There was this meme of this cat’s butt hitting on all the surfaces in the home, so we thought it’d be interesting to do a project on it.” In is your cat’s butt touching everything? Dr. Mikel Delgado interviews Kaeden and his mom Kerry about a rather amazing science project. 

“Think about your resident cat’s personality in general.” Pam Johnson-Bennett has some tips if you are thinking of adding a second cat to the family.

Animal Book Club

This month, the Animal Book Club is reading CatWise: America's Favorite Cat Expert Answers Your Cat Behavior Questions by Pam Johnson-Bennett. With a question-and-answer format, it’s easy to read and absolutely packed with information for cat guardians.

The book club is open to email subscribers. If you want to sign up, you can do so here.  

You can find Cat Wise (and all of the book club books) in my Amazon store 

Support Me on Ko-Fi

This blog is a real labour of love and my Ko-fi supporters make a huge difference in helping me get it done. 

This month I’d like to say a special thank you to Nada Chebib, Diane Walker, Ilene, Dr. Jill Bradshaw, kazukami, Rachel Georgiades, Sara Hughley, Sheryl Gamble,, and an anonymous person for their support. 

I am humbled by your support and kind words.

Here at Companion Animal Psychology

Honestly, the most exciting news of the last month is that I got my first COVID vaccine (AstraZeneca). It seems like an inordinately long time since I was first writing about what the pandemic might mean for people and their pets and I look forward to when life can get back to normal for everyone.

But this month, I wrote about how treats and a training plan can help dogs learn to wear a muzzle. New research shows that it’s best to use good treats and take your time over this training. 

I also wrote about how aggression in dogs is complex, but fear is a common cause.  

And I covered some fun new research that shows cats, like us, see the Kanizsa illusion in If the cat fits. Have you tried this with your pet? 

There’s a lot happening behind the scenes right now and I’ve got something exciting to share with you soon. Email subscribers will be the first to know. 

Animals in Art

This month's artwork is Tama the Japanese Dog, painted by Edouard Manet in 1875. I guess we would call this type of dog a Japanese Chin. Unfortunately Japanese Chins are brachycephalic (flat-faced) which can cause serious health issues including breathing problems. It's interesting to see an image of one from so long ago. 

Tama the Japanese dog by Edouard Manet

The painting is in the collection of the National Gallery of Art and is on display in the West wing. 

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