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Dog-Eared Reading (Volume 1)

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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I recently saw a clip of Neil Patrick Harris hosting the 2013 Emmys. He was doing a bit about Google Glass and said he was watching an episode of American Horror Story on his contacts while hosting the show. And then, mid-sentence, he freaked out (1min 44sec)! Understandable; there’s a lot to freak out about in that show.

I don’t watch American Horror Story, but I identify with Mr. Harris because that’s how I feel every day. But about dogs.

Every morning, I sit down at my computer with my dog-related To-Do list: dog research, dog writing, dog data analysis, dog presentation prep, and my favorite, dog watching. But throughout the day, I feel a mild(er) version of Neil Patrick Harris’s freakout because there is so much quality dog reading to take in. Every. Single. Day. And I don’t know where to start.

I’m not one to post weekly Required Dog Reading lists, but I’ll periodically share articles that I’ve dog-eared. These 10 pieces run the gamut: animal videos and butt worms, aggression and death, and of course, dogs driving cars and chocolate.

The Poisonous Chemistry of Chocolate
Deborah Blum, ELEMENTAL/Wired Science  @deborahblum
The trouble with dogs and theobromine.

Guessing at the Mechanisms of Dog Aggression
Dog Zombie, DVM, MS and PhD student in canid genomics  @dogzombieblog
Thought experiment about aggression in dogs.

Ten Special YouTube Animal Videos
Hal Herzog, Animals and Us/Psychology Today  @herzoghal
Using social media to study animal behavior is on my mind. Nothing beats small horses with big balls.

The Incredible Journey of My Dog’s Butt Worm
Eleanor Spicer Rice, Your Wild Life  @VerdantEleanor @YourWild_Life
I’m not sure if the worm found the journey all that eventful, but it certainly will be for you!

Mind & Matter: Our Unique Obsession With Rover and Fluffy
Robert Sapolsky, Mind & Matter/The Wall Street Journal  Facebook
“We’re pretty selective about how we extend our humaneness to other human beings.”

When Dogs Die: The Science of Sad
Mia Cobb, Do You Believe in Dog?  @DoUBelieveinDog
The science behind the passing of a loved one.

After a Dog Bite The Biter’s Suffering Continued
Karen London, The Bark  @The_Bark
Terrified dogs will bite, and sometimes people don’t help.

All Thumbs
Malcom Campbell, Six Incredible Things Before Breakfast/SciLogs  @m_m_campbell
Dogs, humans and pandas grapple.

How Do Dogs Interact With an Unidentified Moving Object?
Companion Animal Psychology  @CompAnimalPsych
How do dogs respond to new things, and their “sociability”?

What is Operant Conditioning? (and How Does it Explain Driving Dogs?)
Jason Goldman, The Thoughtful Animal/Scientific American  @jgold85
The title says it all. Required reading in my Applied Animal Behavior class.

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Photo: Flickr Creative commons :mrMark:

Julie Hecht About the Author: Julie Hecht is a canine behavioral researcher and science writer in New York City. She would really like to meet your dog. Follow on Twitter @DogSpies.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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