July 10, 2020

Dogs Ignore Sensory Information in Favor of Emotional Bonds

Originally published in slightly different form on March 4, 2011 at PsychologyToday.com.

“Everything Americans feel about our dogs is right. But everything we think we know about dogs is wrong.”                                  —Kevin Behan

Dog Sens...

Should Young Puppies Learn Obedience?

Originally published in slightly different form on February 9, 2011 at PsychologyToday.com.

“Nature is never wrong.”—Jean Jacques Rousseau

“Genies don’t grant just two wishes. Nobody talks about the Two Musketeers. And you never hear anybody say, ‘Second time’s the charm!’“...

Survival Feelings Aren't the Best Way to Promote Learning

Originally published in slightly different form on March 18, 2011 at PsychologyToday.com.

Pent Up Energy

I previously discussed what I’ve called the 4 Quadrants of Drive Training, which are similar to the quadrants of learning theory (+ and - reinforcement, and + and - punishment) in that they also come in pairs of opposites: Attraction & Resistance and Tension & Release.

Unlike the quadrants of lea...

Does a Dog’s Genetic Diversity Come from the Wolf’s DNA?

Originally published in slightly different form on October 14, 2010 at PsychologyToday.com.

Physical and Behavioral Diversity

Dogs are the most diverse species of animal on earth. According to zoologist Desmond Morris, there are over 1,000 breeds, each with its own specific body type and character traits.

Meanwhile, even though the latest genetic tests show that dogs evolved from wolves, there is nothing...

Our Brains Are Hard-Wired to Pay Attention to Animals. Does It Work Both Ways?

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

The Human-Dog Connection 

I’ve written on numerous occasions about how dogs get under our skin, and seem to hi-jack our brains. In this article I’ll present three ideas. 1) That there’s a part of the human brain designed to make us pay attention to all animals. 2) That dogs may have a si...

June 30, 2020

Is Dominant Behavior Instinctive or a Symptom of Anxiety?

Originally published in slightly different form on April 13, 2009 at PsychologyToday.com.

Hunting Eases Stress and Anxiety

In the first of the previous two sections [1] I described how the primary architect of the alpha theory, Konrad Lorenz, misinterpreted the essential dynamic between a “dominant” and “submissive” wolf. In the second I made the point that the initial studies which gave us this now dis...

June 29, 2020

A Property of Relationships or an Indicator of Stress?

First published at PsychologyToday.com on May 9, 2011 at PsychologyToday.com. 

One of the Good Guys

As someone who casts a critical eye on the latest developments in dognitive science, I’m happy to report that John W. S. Bradshaw has joined us here at PsychologyToday.com. In my view Bradshaw is one of the good guys, someone who’s interested in questioning the prevailing wisdom about how dogs think and l...

June 25, 2020

Or By Pattern Recognition?

Originally published in slightly different form on September 16, 2010 at PsychologyToday.com.

Unified Theory of Dog Training

I’ve spent a good deal of time here emphasizing the differences between the two most common forms of pet dog training—the pack leader and behavioral science models—and contrasting them with the approach I use, which is more closely allied with the way working dogs are trained (primarily through stimulating and...

June 23, 2020

Attraction and Resistance, Tension and Release

Originally published in slightly different form on February 22, 2011 at PsychologyToday.com. 

A Tired Dog Is a Good Dog

We’ve all heard the expression, a tired dog is a good dog. But what does it mean, exactly?

I think the most common way this adage is interpreted is that if you give a dog enough exercise he’ll have fewer behavioral problems. In extreme cases the dog is put on a treadmill for hours at a time, o...

June 19, 2020

Using Transitional Objects to Solve Behavioral Problems

Originally published in slightly different form on December 16, 2011 at PsychologyToday.com.

Inner Conflict in Dogs?

I’m not sure how Dr. Maisel’s article—in which he invited his colleague Dr. Judith Levy to discuss some of her ideas about transitional objects (a Freudian—ended up in the Animal Behavior section of the Psychology Today website recently, but I’m glad it did.

For over 20 years I’ve been explo...

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© 2016 by Lee Charles Kelley.