August 6, 2020

Study May Give the Term “Working Dogs” New Meaning

Originally published in slightly different form on August 25, 2010 at PsychologyToday.com.

Take Your Dog to Work Day, Every Day

Have you ever wanted to take your dog to work with you, but couldn’t get the idea past your boss? According to an article in The Economist, you might soon have some ammunition on your side.

Christopher Honts and Matthew Christensen, under the guidance of Stephen Colarelli, Ph.D., at Ce...

August 5, 2020

Stanley Coren and Magical Thinking About Dogs

Originally published in slightly different form on July 26, 2010 at PsychologyToday.com.

I Was Wrong

In my last post I said that Stanley Coren had made a turnaround on the alpha theory. I was wrong. The only turnaround, if there was one, concerns whether to use force. He still believes in the alpha theory, as made clear by his latest post, “Obtaining Status, Rather Than Enforcing Dominance.” 

Dr. Coren also denies...

August 4, 2020

Are These Dominant or Stress-Related Behaviors?

Originally published in slightly different form on February 8, 2012 at PsychologyToday.com. 


 

Sense or Nonsense

Dr. Roger Abrantes is a well-known figure in the dog training world. He holds PhDs in Evolutionary Biology and Ethology. He is the author to 17 books, written in English, German, Spanish, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Italian, and Czech, and is one of the most versatile ethologists in the world.

In a re...

August 3, 2020

Why Dogs Chase Moving Objects.

Originally published in slightly different form on May 10, 2010 at PsychologyToday.com.

The Emotional Center of Gravity

Have you ever wondered why dogs like to chase Frisbees and tennis balls?

Some would say, “They do it because they think it’s a bird or a squirrel.” Others might propose that some dogs just have a “strong ball drive” or a strong “toy drive.”

Since the kind of dogs who enjoy chasing tennis balls and Frisbees seem to...

July 31, 2020

Is Your Dog a Narcissist? Look In the Mirror!

Originally published in slightly different form on  August 19, 2011 at PsychologyToday.com.

Can Dogs Be Narcissistic?

The term narcissism was first introduced in 1887 by Alfred Binet. Today’s usage stems primarily from Sigmund Freud’s 1914 essay, “On Narcissism.”

Freud felt that a certain amount of healthy narcissism—regularly engaging in self-reflection—was necessary for good mental health. (Some might say that Fre...

July 30, 2020

Why Do Dogs Love Us Unconditionally and Cats ... Eh?

Originally published in slightly different form on August 10, 2011 at PsychologyToday.com.

The Neighborhood Kitty

There’s a cat in my neighborhood who gets taken for a walk every night. He’s a very nice cat. His owners are nice too. And the cat does pretty well walking on a leash. But there’s a substantial difference between the way the cat relates to the people and dogs he meets on his section of the block,...

July 29, 2020

Are Dogs Harder to Train Than They Used to Be?

Originally published in slightly different form on  November 15, 2011 at PsychologyToday.com.

“In recent years, there has been a massive introduction of equipment that emits electromagnetic fields in an enormous range of new frequencies, modulations and intensities. Since living organisms have only recently found themselves immersed in this new and increasingly ubiquitous environment, they have not had an opportu...

July 28, 2020

Does Dominance Training Harm the Dog/Human Bond?

Originally published in slightly different form on May 23, 2011 at PsychologyToday.com.

“All animals learn best through play.”

—Konrad Lorenz

Biological Imperatives

One of the most amazing things about dogs is their ability to form strong, lasting social bonds. Dog lore is rife with stories about dogs who’ve sacrificed their own personal needs—in some cases, their own lives—for the benefit of their owners, even ot...

July 27, 2020

Has Stanley Coren Made a Turnaround on the Alpha Theory?

Originally published in slightly different form on July 22, 2010 at PsychologyToday.com.

Coren’s Turnaround?

In his book, The Intelligence of Dogs, Stanley Coren was, to all intents and purposes, a firm believer in the alpha theory. In one section of the book he recommends doing a gentler version of the alpha roll (much gentler than the one currently favored by Cesar Millan), because by rolling a dog ove...

July 23, 2020

Is it Time to Add Pushing and Collecting to Your Separation Anxiety Protocols?

“Fear is the collapse of a state of attraction. And because a dog doesn’t discriminate between physical and emotional equilibrium [feelings of] territoriality, phobias, possessiveness, owner addiction, separation anxiety, dominance, submission, all invoke the fear of falling.”        —Kevin Behan

The Anxious Angelino

A few years ago a woman who had just...

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