Do Serotonin Levels Indicate Sociability in Shelter Dogs?

Serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain, has been implicated in a variety of emotions and behaviors in animals and people. Recent studies have suggested that low serotonin levels in the brain are associated with aggression and anxiety in dogs.  But is it related to fear or sociability in shelter dogs considered for adoption?

Continue Reading →

Why We Have To Read Research Very Carefully

The pet behavior and training literature is full of misinformation that exists  because writers either misread or misinterpreted the research of others. One prime example is the frequent claim that synthetic pheromones from dogs can reduce anxiety in a variety of situations. A systematic review of the literature (Frank et al. JAVMA, 2010, 236, 1308-1316)…

Continue Reading →

Recorded Consult Concerning an Aggressive Bassett Mix Puppy

Below is a recording of a consult we did with a BEN member concerning a case that she has been working on.  It concerns a 4 month old neutered male Bassett Hound X Beagle mix.  The dog has been showing serious aggression to other dogs and has bitten one of the people caring for him. …

Continue Reading →

Temperament and Personality in Dogs

In our recent BEN Pro Member webinar on Myths and Misconceptions of Drive and Motivation, we talked about the confusion that sometimes arises between explanations of motivation and explanations of personality.  Questions arose about what we know about personality in animals and particularly in dogs.  This is has been an area of intense research in…

Continue Reading →

Beyond “Pop” Ethology Conference Presentation

Dr. Hetts delivered this presentation at the APDT conference in 2009 and at the BFF (Best Friends Forever) conference in Exton, PA in 2010. If you want to discover how scientific research about animal behavior is conducted this presentation is a great starting point. Suzanne discusses the scientific method, why behavior research can be tricky to…

Continue Reading →

Fear Related Behavior Problems That Aren’t Always Obvious

“Unrecognized Fears:   The Effects of Fear on Behavior and Behavior Problems” Housesoiling, barking, destructive behavior, aggression, home alone problems – these are some of the most common types of behavior problems in dogs.  Which of these can be fear related?  All?  None?  Some?  And if they can be, how do you distinguish a housesoiling…

Continue Reading →

The Power of the Human-Animal Bond

Awhile back, our car was broken into in the parking lot of our health club, and my purse, and all its contents including cell phone, wallet, credit cards, checkbook, etc. was stolen. To put it mildly, this was a traumatic event, especially for me more than Dan, because it was my personal effects that were…

Continue Reading →