Companion Animal Psychology Book Club April 2024

“A wonderful, unusual, and healing book, full of wisdom and compassion.”—Sy Montgomery. 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 Good Grief: On Loving Pets, Here and Hereafter by E.B. Bartels. From the publisher, “An unexpected, poignant, and personal account of loving and losing pets, exploring the singular bonds we have with our companion animals, and how to grieve them once they’ve passed. E.B. Bartels has had a lot of pets—dogs, birds, fish, tortoises. As varied a bunch as they are, they’ve taught her one universal truth: to own a pet is to love a pet, and to own a pet is also—with rare exception—to lose that pet in time. But while we have codified traditions to mark the passing of our fellow humans, most cultures don’t have the same for pets. Bartels takes us from Massachusetts to Japan, from ancient Egypt to the modern era, in search of the good

The Pet Professional Guild Australia Conference

Will I see you down under? (part 2). Photo: Mudassir Ali/Pexels By Zazie Todd PhD I’ll be presenting at the Pet Professional Guild Australia conference in Sydney which runs from 14-16 June. The conference takes place at Rydges World Square in Sydney, with some practical workshops on the 14th at St. Ives Showgrounds. My talks will be on: From fearful to happy: The role of emotions in animal welfare. Counterconditioning: How to get it right. How to prevent and resolve common behaviour issues in cats. Strategies for the human side of fearful/reactive dogs Puppy and cat playtime and enrichment: why it matters. Changing minds on training methods.  There’s a great line-up of Australian and international speakers at this conference, including Dr. Robert Hewings, Barbara Buchmayer, Deb Millikan, Jari Castle, Dr. Eduardo J. Fernandez, and Alex Matsoukos. There is a cocktail party on the Friday night and a conference dinner on the Saturday night. As well as the conference, I am looking forward t

The Association of Professional Dog Trainers New Zealand Conference

Will I see you down under? (part 1). Photo: Makalu/Pixabay By Zazie Todd PhD I’ll be presenting at the New Zealand Association of Professional Dog Trainers conference in June. The conference takes place 8th – 9th June at the Silverstream Retreat, Lower Hutt, near Wellington. This year’s theme is Steady Paws, Calm Minds. I’ll be giving three talks at the conference: How to help fearful dogs feel safe Counter-conditioning for anxious and fearful dogs The value of enrichment for dogs. One of the other speakers at the conference will be Laura Ryder, the head dog trainer at Morley Vet Centre in Perth, Western Australia. I am really excited for the conference. You can see the program and get more information on the APDT NZ conference web page .   As well as the conference, I’m looking forward to doing some sight-seeing in New Zealand. The photo above shows the cable car which goes up to the botanical gardens in Wellington. I always love visiting gardens so, even though it will be winter, thi

Companion Animal Psychology Turns 12

A twelfth anniversary is time to celebrate and to say thank you. Photo: Veronika 7833/Shutterstock By Zazie Todd PhD Companion Animal Psychology blog is 12 years old today. A 12th anniversary is symbolized by silk and fine linen, hence the accompanying photo of a Pembroke Welsh Corgi sleeping amongst some beautiful fabrics. 12 years is a milestone that not many blogs achieve. It’s only happened because so many of you support this blog in so many ways, from sharing posts and suggesting topic ideas, to buying or gifting my books, for which I am extremely grateful. Thank you for your support and encouragement over the years! What keeps me going is the wonderful community of so many people who care about helping their pets to be happy, about using reward-based methods, providing enrichment, and always learning more about dog and cat behaviour. And of course, I am always learning myself, from my interactions with people and their pets, and from all the papers I read so that I can bring you

17 Training Tips for First Time Dog Owners

What first time dog guardians need to know about dog training. Photo: Angela Holmyard/Shutterstock By Zazie Todd PhD Getting a dog for the first time is a wonderful experience but also a hard one. Having a dog in your house is a lot of work, and many first-time dog guardians struggle in those early weeks and months. It takes time to settle into an easy rhythm, and it takes time to train your dog how to behave. On top of that, people who get their first dog are more likely to use outdated training methods that are linked to poorer outcomes. It doesn’t help that when you look for help, there’s plenty of old-fashioned and downright wrong advice out there—and some people even charge money for it. Dog training isn’t regulated, so you have to be careful where you get advice from. The decisions you make about dog training make a big difference to the relationship you build with your pup. Here’s what first time dog guardians need to know. 1. It’s important to use reward-based training methods

How to Pitch Books to Companion Animal Psychology

Common questions about getting your book featured on Companion Animal Psychology. A selection of books about dogs, cats, and other animals. Photo: Zazie Todd By Zazie Todd PhD These days, I regularly get emails from authors and publicists asking how they can get the Animal Book Club to pick their book.  There are several ways that books get mentioned on Companion Animal Psychology, so I thought I’d put something here that explains. (This includes a surprise that I’m working on at the moment). These options are for traditionally-published books only. (If your book is self-published, skip to the section on the Animal Books Group). Most of these options--but not all--are for books about animals.  The Animal Book Club The Animal Book Club started in 2016 and since then we’ve read 10 books a year, taking January and July off. We read nonfiction books about animals. Most are science books, but we read memoirs from time to time too. Our readers are around the world, so we prefer books that ar

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