Animal Lovers on the Books that Changed Their Lives

The books about animals that had a profound effect and even caused a change of direction.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…

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Companion Animal Psychology News March 2019

Animal cruelty investigations, cat music, dog parks, and interviews with dogs...the latest Companion Animal Psychology news.Favourites from around the web this month: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…

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

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/ShutterstockDo 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…

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The 2019 BC SPCA Animal Behaviour Science Symposium

The BC SPCA Animal Behaviour Science Symposium takes place 7-10 June 2019.The keynote speaker is Jean Donaldson of The Academy for Dog Trainers.Other speakers include Dr. Chris Pachel, Debbie Martin, Dr. Claudia Richter, Kim Monteith, Dr. Karen van Haaften, Sarah Pennington, Renée Erdman, Lisbeth Plant, and myself.As well, there is a learning lab on humane handling and cooperative veterinary care.Full details are available on the Animal Behaviour Science Symposium website.Maybe I'll see you there?

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Overweight Dogs Don’t Live as Long, and Scientists Have Calculated How Much Less

Research on 12 popular dog breeds finds the average difference in life span between normal weight and overweight or obese dogs, and it makes for worrying reading.Photo: Caz Harris Photography/ShutterstockWe know that being overweight or obese is bad for pet dogs, but just how bad is it?For the first time, scientists have worked out the difference in average life span for normal weight and overweight pet dogs of 12 breeds. The study by Carina Salt…

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Companion Animal Psychology Book Club March 2019

"To live in harmony with our cats... we first need to understand their inherited quirks."This month, the Companion Animal Psychology Book Club has chosen Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet by John Bradshaw.From the back cover,"In Cat Sense, renowned anthrozoologist John Bradshaw takes us further into the mind of the domestic cat than ever before, using cutting-edge scientific research to dispel lingering myths and explain…

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Into the Middle of Things: Dog Training Lessons from the Best Fiction

Why dog trainers are like stalwart detectives, and how it all begins mid-scene.Guest post by Kristi Benson CTCPhoto: Anna Goroshnikova/ShutterstockA while ago, a client got in touch asking for help with the family dog. The dog was a young and lovely Golden retriever, smart as a whip and sweet as pie. The problem? He was barking. A lot. As I packed up my bag of tricks, I grabbed a few different hand-outs to make sure…

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Cats Trained to Use Their Carriers Find Vet Visits Less Stressful

Training cats to go in their carrier and for a short car ride leads to less stressful visits to the vet, study shows.Photo:eAlisa/ShutterstockWhen it’s time for cats to go to the vet, many owners struggle. It can be almost impossible to get the cat in the carrier (or even locate them if they flee at the sight of it). And this stress is a bad start to a vet visit that will likely be stressful…

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Companion Animal Psychology News February 2019

Dog training standards, the puppy brain, and the crow that called for food… the latest Companion Animal Psychology news.Favourites from around the web this monthThese are my favourite articles, photos and podcasts about animals this month. As usual, I've included links to people's Twitter accounts so you can easily follow them."A new training program from Canada's BC SPCA is a model for all to follow.” At Psychology Today, Dr. Marc Bekoff interviews Dr. Karen van Haaften…

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Breed Specific Legislation Had No Effect on Dog Bites in Odense, Denmark

In 2010, Denmark banned 13 breeds of dog. It made no difference to hospitalizations for dog bites.Photo: sanjagrujic/ShutterstockOne approach that some countries or municipalities take to attempt to reduce injuries from dog bites is to ban certain breeds, known as Breed Specific Legislation (BSL). A new study by Dr. Finn Nilson  (Karlstad University) et al investigates the effects of BSL in Denmark’s third-largest city, Odense. The results show that it had no effect on hospitalizations…

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