The Five Domains Model Aims to Help Animals Thrive

An updated approach to animal welfare includes opportunities for positive experiences for our companion (and other) animals.

By Zazie Todd, PhD

“…the overall objective is to provide opportunities for animals to ‘thrive’, not simply ‘survive’” (Mellor, 2016)

The Five Freedoms Animal welfare is traditionally defined by the Five Freedoms. These are
Freedom from hunger and thirstFreedom from discomfortFreedom from pain, injury and diseaseFreedom to express normal behaviourFreedom from fear and distress The original list is on the – now archived – page of the UK’s Farm Animal Welfare Council and the Council’s 2009 report on farm animal welfare in Great Britain. You will also find them listed on many SPCA and humane society websites, including by the BC SPCA and the ASPCA, because the Five Freedoms frame how they look after the animals in their care.

The Five Freedoms have defined animal welfare internationally, not just for farmed animals but also for our companion animals. Each of the Freed…

The Pet People to Follow in 2017

The canine and feline scientists, pet professionals, bloggers and organizations to follow on social media in 2017.

By Zazie Todd, PhD

Are you looking for some new accounts to follow in 2017? I’ve compiled a list of some of the best people and organizations to follow on twitter and Facebook if you’re interested in companion animals, science, and the human-animal bond.

Not only do they produce great content of their own, they also have a varied feed that includes news, research and interesting snippets from around the web.

I’ve given links to twitter and Facebook accounts so you can follow however you choose (some are more active on one than the other). The first link is always to twitter, Facebook second if they are on there too.

The list is in no particular order, so read through and see who you would like to follow.

Of course, there are many talented people in the world, so please add your own suggestions for people or organizations to follow in the comments below.

This page contains a…

The Posts of the Year 2016

The most popular posts from Companion Animal Psychology in 2016.

By Zazie Todd, PhD

This page contains affiliate links.

Looking back, I'm surprised by how much I wrote this year. During 2016 I published 58 blog posts, including 28 reviews of individual research papers on dogs, cats, ferrets, and the human-animal bond. I feel very lucky to have interviewed both Dr. Sarah Ellis and Jean Donaldson, and thank them both for such interesting and inspiring interviews. I published the first guest post, an important piece by James Oxley and Clare Ellis about how rabbits are missing out on basic pet care practices.

I really enjoyed hosting the Train for Rewards Blog Party, which was a huge lot of fun (look out for it again in 2017!). Thank you to everyone who participated, whether by writing a post or sharing your favourites. I also kept my list of dog training research resources up to date, and there you will find a list of research articles on dog training and places where you can read abou…

Season's Greetings

Happy Holidays!

Thank you for your support, encouragement, comments, likes and shares throughout the year.

Season's Greetings and all best wishes for a joyful and peaceful 2017!

Companion Animal Psychology

By Zazie Todd, PhD

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, one dog, and two cats.

Useful links:
Check out what the Animal Book Club is reading this monthGet Companion Animal Psychology merchSupport me on Ko-fiVisit my Amazon storeThis page contains affiliate links.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. As an Etsy affiliate, I earn from qualifying Etsy purchases.

Companion Animal Psychology News December 2016

The latest news on cats and dogs from Companion  Animal Psychology, December 2016.

By Zazie Todd, PhD
Some of my favourite posts from around the web this month
Realizing the Fear Free dream for pets by Dr. Marty Becker.

Good intentions can go very wrong when you find a lost pet by Maddie’s Fund.

Helping your dog feel safe during the holidays by Maureen Backman.

How to enrich cats’ lives: Food puzzles for cats. Felicity Muth talks to Mikel Delgado.

Why are pets popular with artists?Dr. Anne Fawcett interviews Dr. Sarah Engledow about the Popular Pet  Show at the National Portrait Gallery in Australia.

Pets in the news…
In the UK, the RSPCA’s petition to repeal Breed Specific Legislation now has more than 50,000 signatures. The London Assembly has also called for a review, saying the legislation “has failed to protect the public and dog welfare.” If you want to know more, here is a link to the RSPCA report ‘Breed Specific Legislation – A Dog’s Dinner’ and to the petition

Meanwhile in Montr…

How to Choose a Dog Trainer

How to choose the best dog trainer for you and your dog, including the methods and qualifications to look for.

By Zazie Todd, PhD

Whether you want to take part in obedience classes or arrange private sessions to resolve your dog’s behaviour problem, choosing the right dog trainer can be a difficult decision.

Because dog training is unlicensed, anyone can call themselves a dog trainer, regardless of whether or not they have any education.

So what should you look for? This article explains the key things you need to know before you hire a dog trainer.

The most important choice in hiring a dog trainer When choosing a dog trainer, the most important thing is to find a trainer who uses reward-based dog training methods, which they might call positive reinforcement, force-free, or humane training methods.

However, just because you see those words on someone’s website, does not mean they actually use those methods (see below for the questions you should ask).

Reward-based dog training is base…