Interview with Dr. Mark Goldstein

"I wanted to pull back the curtain a little bit on some of these questions... It was all centred around two things: life lessons learned as a veterinarian and the human-animal bond."Dr. Mark Goldstein, author of Lions and Tigers and Hamsters. Photo: Janie DeCellesAn interview with Dr. Mark Goldstein about his book Lions and Tigers and Hamsters: What Animals Large and Small Taught Me About Life, Love, and Humanity. We talked about the human-animal bond, challenges…

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The Five Pillars of a Healthy Environment for Cats

How to set your house up for your cat. Do you provide these five things that your cat needs?Photo: Sue McDonald/ShutterstockEvery morning at about the same time, my tortoiseshell cat Melina jumps on the bed with a chirrup and comes up to sniff my nose and ask to be petted. She purrs while I pet her on the head in the places where cats like to be petted, and a very short time later my…

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The Healing Power of Art and Animals for Inmates: Moon Bear Has a Place

An essay by a former inmate shows how other animals can help people move on.Dr. Jane Goodall visiting Dr. Marc Bekoff's class at the Boulder County Jail. Photo: Marc Bekoff.On Wednesday I wrote about Dr. Marc Bekoff’s inspiring class at the Boulder County Jail, and his new website, Boulder Art for Animals, that shows the work of students in the class.This guest post is by Kyle Warner, an accomplished writer, artist, and former student of…

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Inmates Find Meaning in Class on Connections with Animals

Boulder Art Behind Bars has been changing lives for almost 20 years.Wolves are a model for many of the students. Photo: Holly Kuchera/ShutterstockFor almost 20 years, Dr. Marc Bekoff, scientist and author of many books including The Emotional Lives of Animals and Canine Confidential, has been teaching a class at Boulder (Colorado) County Jail. Inmates must apply to join the class, which meets once a week and allows them to express themselves via different artistic…

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The Animal Books that Changed People’s Lives: Part 2

The books about animals that had a profound effect on people’s lives.This is the second post in a series on the animal books that changed people’s lives. You can read part 1, animal lovers on the books that changed their lives, here.The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnellVanessa Mae Hajek MS CTC of Hands Full Dog training told me,“In 2002, my dad got me a book for my 14th birthday. Patricia McConnell's The…

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Most Serious Dog Bites Happen at Home, and No Breed Group Can Be Blamed

A study of dog bites in Calgary finds no breed group can be singled out for serious bites, and older adults may be at more risk than previously thought.Photo: Christian Mueller/ShutterstockDog bites are a serious public health problem. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 4.7 million Americans are bitten every year and 800,000 require medical treatment. New research from Dr. Niamh Caffrey and colleagues (University of Calgary), published in Animals, investigates all dog bites…

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Companion Animal Psychology News June 2019

What pigeons teach us about home, the view from a catcam, and stunning photographs of dogs... this month's Companion Animal Psychology news.Wag newsI am very excited to share the news that my publisher, Greystone Books, has made the official announcement that my book, Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy, will be published in Spring 2020. This month I have been responding to the proof-reader’s queries and have also seen the page spreads. After…

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Fellow Creatures: Seniors and Pets

I have a new post at my Psychology Today blog, Fellow Creatures, about a new review study of seniors with pets.It shows that while pets can have many benefits for older people, there are can also be some issues, and the report has some suggestions. Read more in the challenges and benefits of pet ownership for seniors.Photo: Peter Baxter/Shutterstock.

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The Train for Rewards Blog Party is live

The Train for Rewards blog party is now live. You can read an amazing set of posts from talented dog trainers and animal behaviour professionals on the reward-based training of dogs and cats.Check it out here.Then share your favourite posts on social media with the hashtag #Train4Rewards.There is also a photo post where you can add a photo of your pet to show your support for training with positive reinforcement. (It's a pet-ition, geddit?!).

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To Promote Positive Reinforcement Dog Training, Teach, Engage, and Amplify

Three tips to encourage and support people to use reward-based training methods with their dog or other pet.Photo: D.K. Grove/ShutterstockHow can we encourage more people to use positive reinforcement to train their dog?Those of you who know me know that this question is often on my mind. It’s because positive reinforcement is good for animal welfare and fun for the dog. I explore some of this in the post that kicked off the very first…

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