Posts

Companion Animal Psychology Turns Seven

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Celebrating seven years of blogging about science and pets here at Companion Animal Psychology. By Zazie Todd, PhD This page contains affiliate links which means I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you. Today is exactly seven years since I started Companion Animal Psychology with the aim of finding out what science tells us about how to have happy dogs and cats. In this time, I’ve been writing evidence-based articles about how best to care for our cats and dogs, and about new scientific research papers that are relevant to the everyday lives of people and their pets. It’s wonderful to see how much the general public wants to know about science and our pets. Over the years I’ve been honoured to speak to many scientists, veterinarians, dogs trainers, and others about their work with animals. As well, I’ve been lucky to publish some wonderful guest posts. A seventh anniversary is a wool anniversary. Photo: dezy/Shutterstock One thing that kee

Which Dog Breeds Are the Best Alternatives to the French Bulldog? (Guide)

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If you love Frenchies but the health issues give you pause, these are the dogs like  French bulldogs that you might like too. French Bulldogs have lovely personalities, but if the health issues give you pause, these are the other breeds to consider. Photo: Irinia Kozorog/Shutterstock. By Zazie Todd, PhD This page contains affiliate links which means I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you. In 2018, French bulldogs became the most popular breed of dog in the UK , overtaking the Labrador retriever, which had the number 1 spot for almost thirty years. French bulldogs are also in the top ten dog breeds in  the US (no. 4), Canada (no. 5),  and Australia (no. 3). French bulldogs are lovely dogs but unfortunately they can suffer from a number of inherited conditions, which can be distressing for the dog and heart-breaking for the owner.  Because they have a squashed face, they are at risk of Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome, can have trouble

Animal Lovers on the Books that Changed Their Lives

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The books about animals that had a profound effect and even caused a change of direction. By Zazie Todd, PhD This page contains affiliate links which means I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you. Sometimes books can have a surprising effect on us.  The words mingle in our brain and make some kind of magic that percolates out into the real world. I was curious to know which books about animals have affected people, and so I put out a call asking people about the animal book that changed their life. These are their answers. Dog Sense by John Bradshaw Emily Tronetti, MS, CPDT-KA, of Heal to Howl told me, “In 2014, I was working as a veterinary receptionist and had my own pet sitting and canine massage business. One day, at a bookstore, I found the book Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You A Better Friend to Your Pet  by Dr. John Bradshaw. This book changed everything I thought I knew about dogs. I was amazed by the lo

Companion Animal Psychology News March 2019

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Animal cruelty investigations, cat music, dog parks, and interviews with dogs...the latest Companion Animal Psychology news. By Zazie Todd, PhD   Favourites from around the web this month: This page contains affiliate links which means I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you. If you’ve ever tried to get a wriggly puppy into a harness, this post is for you. Gearing up: How to harness your dog or puppy by Joan Grassbaugh Forry CTC. “The one symptom I cannot ignore, however, is my dog’s tiny head, resting on my leg during a portion of the day when she’s usually ignoring me.” How your dog knows when you’re sick , by Amanda Mull . "When you’re training a dog using a good plan and good treats, the dog is so keen to work it feels almost criminal." Kristi Benson CTC ponders the question, is training your dog unnatural? “I have been leading a team studying animal cruelty investigation work and workers for the last few years. It is difficul

Dogs' Personality Traits Vary With Age (and Dogs Tend to Be Like Their Owners)

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Dogs are most trainable during middle age, and there are some fascinating links between the personality of dogs and their owners, research shows. Photo: dezy/Shutterstock By Zazie Todd, PhD This page contains affiliate links which means I may earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you. Do you ever think much about the different personalities of dogs? New research looks at the personality profiles of dogs (and their owners) and finds that dog personality seems to change with age. As well, the owner’s personality is linked to the dog’s personality. The study, by Dr. William Chopik and Dr. Jonathan Weaver (both Michigan State University) is published in Journal of Research and Personality . The results show that some personality traits are more pronounced in dogs in middle age (6-8 years). This was the case for responsiveness to training, which peaked at age 7.44. Younger dogs were rated as less responsive to training , and older dogs were not much differen