Behavior has many causes: this is a general statement that many people believe is true, and it often causes people to extend the conclusion to one that suggests that we can never understand behavior, that it will always remain a black-box mystery. But of course, as professional animal behaviorists, academic or clinical, some of us… Read More
I have been blogging on the general topic of companion animal behavior for about 6 years now. The earlier (pre-2013) writings appeared as part of the “Behind the Behavior” blog at my former clinical practice home at Companion Animal Solution, LLC. While many of these earlier blogs still appear there, I have moved all of my blogs to this site. My new blogs will only appear here. And the new home for my clinical practice is AdaptiveAnimals.com: check them out! Link to the right.
My applied animal behavior blogs fall (so far) into two broad categories: the general science of behavior and more direct application to dogs and cats. I divide these entries into the two categories you can find to the right of this text. Enjoy! And if you would like to recommend topics, please contact me.
Heart Rate: A Window to the Brain?
I recently attended a conference of companion animal behavior practitioners and researchers, held in New Orleans this past March (see earlier blog entry). One of the most interesting, and most important, presentations at the three-day meeting was titled, “Assessing Behavior and Training Methods Using Physiological Measures.” This was a summary, and a very interesting demonstration,… Read More
The State of Our Discipline and the Science of Applied Animal Behavior
I am sitting in the New Orleans International Airport, waiting for my (much delayed) flight to Atlanta (severe weather!), and on to home in Seattle. The purpose of my travel to the Big Easy, and specifically, to a small hotel with conference facilities in the French Quarter, was to attend something called the Interdisciplinary Forum… Read More
Pass It Along: Redirected Aggression
Most pet owners are familiar with the situation: your dog or cat is upset about something, perhaps has been challenged or even attacked. But rather than an understandable response in which the animal lashes out at the challenger, or turns and runs, it will turn and attack someone, or something, else. That is, it will… Read More
Cat Behavior and MisBehavior
Cats are a mystery to many of their owners, perhaps more so than dogs. Dogs are social, like we primates, and so we can often understand their need for attention, the reward of social contact and praise, and even, at a deeper evolutionary level, perhaps a lot of their signals and communication. But cats –… Read More