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Companion Animal Psychology Book Club June 2017

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The book of the month is The Inner Life of Cats by Thomas McNamee. By Zazie Todd, PhD The Companion Animal Psychology Book Club choice for June 2017 is The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions by Thomas McNamee. From the inside cover, "In The Inner Life of Cats, acclaimed nature writer Thomas McNamee helps us decipher the thoughts and motivations of these often inscrutable creatures, digging deep into emerging (and forgotten) research to reveal what might be driving our cats' actions. McNamee consults the experts, decodes cats' befuddling behaviour (why are they always drawn to the one 'non-cat' person in the room?), and celebrates the unsung heroes who are starting to give us glimpses into what drives our cats to do the things they do." Are you reading alongside us? Please let me know what you think of the book in the comments. Zazie Todd, PhD , is the author of Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Ha

Rivalry and Decision-Making in Dogs

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The relationship between two household dogs affects their decisions, according to new research. By Zazie Todd, PhD If you have more than one dog , you might have noticed that if one goes over to sniff a particular spot, sometimes the other dog will also go over there. It’s called local enhancement, in which one dog (we call them the ‘demonstrator’) draws the other dog’s attention to a specific location. It’s a type of social learning that is found in many species. Dr. Christy Hoffman and Dr. Malini Suchak ( Canisius College ) investigated whether local enhancement is affected by rivalry between dogs that live in the same household. The dogs were classed as either low- or high-rivalry based on their owners responses to questions on the C-BARQ. The dog rivalry questions assessed how likely the dog is to be aggressive towards the other dog in the household, or to be aggressive when the other dog approaches when they are sleeping, eating, or playing with a toy. After conduc

Invitation to the 2017 Train for Rewards Blog Party

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Join pet bloggers and dog trainers in supporting reward-based training. #Train4Rewards By Zazie Todd, PhD Are you a blogger? Do you support reward-based training for dogs and other animals? Would you like to take part in the #Train4Rewards blog party? You are invited to write a blog post about reward-based training of dogs or other companion animals, post it on your own blog on the set date, then come and share a link to it here. Bloggers from anywhere in the world are invited to take part. Last year , posts covered training of dogs, cats and horses. As well as spreading the word about reward-based training, you will find new people to follow (and pick up new followers in turn). Read on to find out more. On Wednesday 14th or Thursday 15th June: 1. Publish a post on your blog in support of the #Train4Rewards blog party. It can be words, photos, video, a podcast, or a combination, and relate to any kind of companion animal.  I’ve put some suggestions below to get you st

Companion Animal Psychology News May 2017

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This month's news and favourite stories from around the web. By Zazie Todd, PhD Some of my favourites from around the web this month… An anonymous article from the owner of a reactive dog that resonated with many people. "It is painful for me to have to portray my dog as some kind of devil dog to you to get my point across. He really is not; he is funny, intelligent, and the most loving dog I know." A thoughtful post from Ken Ramirez on the use of clickers in dog training . "The best trainers will keep asking questions to better understand the techniques we use and to understand the science underlying each procedure." Ouch! Acquired bite inhibition and puppies by Kristi Benson at the Academy for Dog Trainers. "Luckily, most dogs have good—or at least good enough—ABI. However, dog trainers and veterinarians do occasionally get a call about a dog with poor ABI, and it is always heartbreaking." Why do dogs like to roll in smelly t

Companion Animal Psychology Tee Raises Funds for Charity

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Wearable artwork. All proceeds to the BC SPCA Maple Ridge. By Zazie Todd, PhD I am very excited to launch the Companion Animal Psychology t-shirt today. Isn’t the design gorgeous?! 100% of the proceeds will go to the BC SPCA Maple Ridge . This is the shelter where I have been a regular volunteer for the last 5 years. The funds raised will make a tremendous difference to the dogs, cats and small animals. Jennifer Stack, shelter manager, says “Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and possibly purchasing a print to help support the animals at the Maple Ridge BC SPCA. “Our shelter has seen a real change in what animals come into the shelter. Years ago there were lots of puppies and kittens pushing us past capacity and having to develop and rely on a solid foster program for the overflow of these young animals. Through working with veterinarians with education on spaying and neutering pets before 6 months, as well as working with the municipalities to de

Potential Causes of Problems in Pet Store Puppies

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A review of the research finds pet store puppies are more likely to be aggressive as adults, and considers the reasons why. Amy Laurel Photography (Shutterstock) Several studies have found puppies that come from commercial breeding establishments (CBEs) have a higher rate of behaviour problems than those from responsible breeders. A new review by Frank McMillan looks at the evidence from seven published studies, and then turns to the literature on puppy development to consider the possible causes of these problems. Essentially, many different stresses at a time when puppies really need to have positive experiences are the likely culprit. Puppies need to have lots of positive experiences during the socialization period (from 3 until 12 – 16 weeks) to help prepare them for later life. If they are in a commercial breeding establishment, it is not preparing them for life in a family home. But puppies from commercial breeders are also exposed to other sources of stress that may