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Canine Empathy: Your Dog Really Does Care If You Are Unhappy

Canine Empathy: Your Dog Really Does Care If You Are Unhappy | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

New research shows that dogs respond to their owner's unhappiness.  

 

People often report that it seems as if their dogs are reading their emotional state and responding in much the same way that a human would, providing sympathy and comfort, or joining in their joy...

 

Such incidents involving pet dogs appear to be quite common and at face value they seem to show that dogs are showing empathy for their owners. Generally speaking empathy can be defined as the ability to put oneself into the mental shoes of another person to understand and even share their emotions and feelings. Although dog owners seem to be quite sure that their dogs have empathy for their feelings, if you make that suggestion to a group of psychologists are behavioral biologists it is more apt to start an argument rather than to bring out nods of agreement.

 

by Stanley Coren 

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Empathy and Animals
International News and Information about Empathy and Compassion with, by and for Animals - for more see: CultureOfEmpathy.com
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To Empathy Cafe Magazine Front Page

To Empathy Cafe Magazine Front Page | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Empathy Cafe Magazine Front Page


Visit the individual magazines specifically for empathy and;

*   Main Page All
*   Animals
*   Art
*   Compassion

*   Compassionate Communications (NVC)

*   Curriculums
*   Education
*   Empaths

*   Empathy Quotes

*   Empathic Design - Empathy in Human-Centered Design (New!)
*   Health Care

*   Justice

*   Self-Empathy & Self-Compassion
*   Teaching - Learning
*   Work 

*   etc.


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Join us on Facebook Center for Building a Culture of Empathy
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Want to raise empathetic kids? Get them a dog.

Want to raise empathetic kids? Get them a dog. | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

By Denise Daniels 


....pets can be invaluable at teaching families, especially children, “emotional intelligence,” or EQ—a measure of empathy and the ability to understand and connect with others.


More than intelligence, EQ is the best indicator of a child’s likely success in school. In fact, kindergarten teachers have reported that EQ is more important than the ability to read or hold a pencil. And unlike IQ, which is fixed at birth, EQ can grow and be nurtured, and what better way than with a loving pet who is a gift to the whole family?


Here are five ways in which pets can help children develop their EQ.

  • By developing empathy...
  • By teaching responsibility and boosting self-esteem...
  • By reducing stress...
  • By helping a child learn to read...
  • By helping children express their emotions....
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Helping your child develop animal empathy

Helping your child develop animal empathy | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Shane Jordan, an Education Environmental Practitioner and a qualified Early Years Practitioner, explains the importance of young children developing empathy towards animals and how to provide nurturing experiences for them to be able to do so: 

To understand that nature exists in our own backyards and neighbourhoods can be a very fascinating experience for children. You can read to a child about nature and tell them to appreciate the animals and the trees in the natural world, but unless they physically interact with it themselves they will never truly learn. Environmental Education (EE) is such a necessary part of learning, especially in a child’s early learning years.
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Pedegru's curator insight, March 31, 9:35 AM

We all need to develop more empathy but this is an excellent article about how we can start with our children! http://www.pedegru.com/discussion-topic/pets-may-help-cut-heart-disease-risk-american-heart-association

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"The Age of Empathy" excerpt 6 (on reciprocity and resource sharing) - YouTube

The Age of Empathy" excerpt 6 (on reciprocity and resource sharing)
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3 Awesome Farm Sanctuary Programs That Teach Kids Compassion for All Animals

3 Awesome Farm Sanctuary Programs That Teach Kids Compassion for All Animals | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

These awesome programs will definitely make you wish you were a kid again so you could go to camp!


There is nothing like seeing a child play with an animal. Not only are these interactions, well, adorable, but they also set the foundation for that child’s future relationship with animals.


Studies have shown that children who grow up with pets are more empathetic and have lower levels of anxiety.  While these studies focus on cats and dogs, many people see the same benefits from interactions with all types of animals, including farm animals.


Because really, who wouldn’t feel more relaxed after hugging a cow or playing with a chicken?

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Crystal Bellert's curator insight, March 27, 1:58 AM

The article describes three farm sanctuaries in America that allow children to interact with and care for farm animals.  Through their interactions with the animals, children can learn to care for another living creature, and that animals are not just a commodity.  In the future, I would love to own a block of land offering similar experiences.  As animals are very unpredictable and harbour many diseases, occupational health and safety will definitely be high on my agenda.

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Entangled Empathy: From an Ethics of Justice to an Ethics of Empathy: Lori Gruen & Edwin Rutsch

Entangled Empathy: From an Ethics of Justice to an Ethics of Empathy:  Lori Gruen & Edwin Rutsch | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Lori Gruen is Professor of Philosophy, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Environmental Studies at Wesleyan University where she also coordinates Wesleyan Animal Studies.


Her work lies at the intersection of ethical theory and practice, with a particular focus on issues that impact those often overlooked in traditional ethical investigations, e.g. women, people of color, non-human animals. She has published extensively on topics in animal ethics, ecofeminism, and practical ethics more broadly


 Lori is author of, 
Entangled Empathy, An Alternative Ethic for Our Relationships with Animals.

"Empathy is also something we are taught to "get over" or grow out of.  We learn to quash our caring reactions for others, and our busy lives and immediate preoccupations provide  excuses for not developing empathy."



From the book description, "In Entangled Empathy, scholar and activist Lori Gruen argues that rather than focusing on animal "rights," we ought to work to make our relationships with animals right by empathetically responding to their needs, interests, desires, vulnerabilities, hopes, and unique perspectives. Pointing out that we are already entangled in complex and life-altering relationships with other animals, Gruen guides readers through a new way of thinking about - and practicing - animal ethics."

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What Can Bonobos Tell Us about Ourselves?

What Can Bonobos Tell Us about Ourselves? | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Famed primatologist Frans de Waal takes on the unproven assumption that apes and humans are natural-born killers.


But what if we descend not from a blustering chimp-like ancestor but from an empathic bonobo-like ape?


The bonobo’s body proportions—its long legs and narrow shoulders, even its grasping feet—seem to perfectly fit the descriptions of Ardi, as do its relatively small canines.


Why was the bonobo overlooked? What if the chimpanzee, instead of being an ancestral prototype, is in fact a violent outlier in an otherwise relatively peaceful lineage? Ardi is telling us something, and there may exist little agreement about what she is saying, but why do I always hear the drums of war while listening to evolutionary scenarios. This has been going on unabated since Konrad Lorenz and Robert Ardrey.


By Frans de Waal 

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(video) Puppy training offers troubled teens empathy, compassion

(video) Puppy training offers troubled teens empathy, compassion | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Video: http://www.myfoxphilly.com/clip/11181428/teen-boys-train-puppies-to-gain-empathy 

More than 10 years ago, Home for Life Animal Sanctuary teamed up with St. Paul schools for a once a week program paired up with adult dogs. They jumped at the chance for the boys to learn to patiently train puppies.

Within just five weeks no one can ignore the difference. The boys were showing empathy and compassion translating to better results in their 6 hours of daily class time. Love and gentle nature are often not encouraged or even safe on the streets.

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Fish Empathy Quilt

Fish Empathy Quilt | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
OK, I had to admit that I had my doubts when I heard the first rumblings about a giant “fish quilt” we were making to raise awareness about the fact that fish are intelligent, intriguing animals who feel pain just as all other animals do and that they don’t deserve to be violently killed for food, painfully hooked for “sport,” or cruelly confined in aquariums. But now that I see the finished product, I have to admit that it’s pretty cool.
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Entangled Empathy: An Alternative Ethic for Our Relationships with Animals

Entangled Empathy: An Alternative Ethic for Our Relationships with Animals | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Gruen describes entangled empathy as a type of caring perception focused on attending to another’s experience of well-being.


It is an experiential process involving a blend of emotion and cognition in which we recognize we are in relationships with others and are called upon to be responsive and responsible in these relationships by attending to another.


When we engage in entangled empathy we are transformed and in that transformation we can imagine less violent, more meaningful ways of being together.

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The Intriguing New Science That Could Change Your Mind About Rats | WIRED

The Intriguing New Science That Could Change Your Mind About Rats | WIRED | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

As Oxford University zoologist Alex Kacelnik and colleagues noted in a 2012 Biology Lettersreflection on empathy research, some ants display helping behaviors similar to Mason and Ben-Ami Bartal’s rats. “Any solid evidence for empathy in non-humans would be a notable advance,” they wrote, “but, in our view, it remains unproven outside humans.”


Other researchers defended the possibility of rat empathy.


“Ants are not rats,”quipped Frans de Waal, an Emory University ethologist who has written extensively about empathy, on Facebook. “It would be totally surprising, from a Darwinian perspective, if humans had empathy and other mammals totally lacked it.” As for Mason and Ben-Ami Bartal, they’ve downplayed the empathy interpretation in their latest work, restricting it to speculative discussion.

we think of this oft-reviled creature, and maybe even ourselves.


BY BRANDON KEIM  

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Animal shelter workers cope with ‘compassion fatigue’

Animal shelter workers cope with ‘compassion fatigue’ | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Animal shelter workers in the Sacramento area are learning how to cope with “compassion fatigue,” a condition associated with the emotionally draining task of caring for abused and unwanted pets.


The stress can take its toll, according to experts, in the form of “compassion fatigue.


The phrase – more typically used to describe a condition common among nurses and doctors who treat trauma patients – increasingly is being applied to people who care for animals.


“Animal care professionals are some of the most pain-saturated people I have ever worked with,” said J. Eric Gentry, a Florida psychotherapist and leader in the study of traumatic stress and compassion fatigue.


“The very thing that makes them great at their work – their empathy and dedication and love for animals – makes them vulnerable.”


BY CYNTHIA HUBERT
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Shannon Clarke's curator insight, March 27, 6:00 AM

I have never been able to understand how someone could bring themselves to hurting a poor, helpless, innocent animal. The abuse of any type of animal no matter how big or small, how fluffy or smooth, how cute or ugly; no living life form deserves to be hurt. The amount of animal abuse that occurs today unidentified needs to be changed. The word about animal abuse and the actions that need to be taken about this harming should and will be changed in 5 years. Everyday there are more culprits who are being confronted about their wrongs, this should continue.

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Therapists gather in Utah for training on equestrian techniques: Therapists said horses have a sense of empathy

Therapists gather in Utah for training on equestrian techniques: Therapists said horses have a sense of empathy | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

 A unique form of therapy involving four-legged companions is growing in popularity, and recently therapists from around the nation gathered in Farmington to learn more about the benefits of using horses in therapy....


Thrap now helps veterans suffering from PTSD. Therapists said horses have a sense of empathy.


“They’re uniquely wired to be aware of their surroundings and to interact with their surroundings in a way that harnesses their intuition, and so they’re just very sensitive beings,” Kaschel said

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Why Do Dogs Yawn? The Neuroscience Of Empathy

Why Do Dogs Yawn? The Neuroscience Of Empathy | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

We certainly need to do more research into the MNS in dogs. We need to get Greg Burns to invite his FMRI trained dogs back into the lab and see how their Brodmann’s area responds to con-specific and hetero-specific contagious yawning and empathy type behaviour.


This MNS has motor respresentation which could explain certain imitation behaviours particularly those rooted in survival mechanisms. Perception of another animals emotional state and being able to mentalize other peoples behaviour is shown to activate BA9. This gives rise to motor empathy and then this develops into cognitive empathy as we grow and develop. Then, higher cognitive functions come into play (dogs do not develop much past a two years old- The Goldsmith Study on Emotional Contagion was originally designed for young children). So Contagious yawning is really just a functional substrate of empathy. Why is it, that animals yawn when there are no other beings around? Perhaps only its root lies in social signalling, I guess people talk to themselves when no-one is around!

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Helping your child develop animal empathy

Helping your child develop animal empathy | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Shane Jordan, an Education Environmental Practitioner and a qualified Early Years Practitioner, explains the importance of young children developing empathy towards animals and how to provide nurturing experiences for them to be able to do so: 

To understand that nature exists in our own backyards and neighbourhoods can be a very fascinating experience for children. You can read to a child about nature and tell them to appreciate the animals and the trees in the natural world, but unless they physically interact with it themselves they will never truly learn. Environmental Education (EE) is such a necessary part of learning, especially in a child’s early learning years.
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Pedegru's curator insight, March 31, 9:35 AM

We all need to develop more empathy but this is an excellent article about how we can start with our children! http://www.pedegru.com/discussion-topic/pets-may-help-cut-heart-disease-risk-american-heart-association

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Three fun family activities to build empathy for animals - Calgary Humane Society

Three fun family activities to build empathy for animals - Calgary Humane Society | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Today on the blog, we wanted to celebrate the weekend by bringing you some fun family activities that you can use to help children build empathy and respect for animals!

Head out on an urban safari! With spring just around the corner many awesome animals are once again making an appearance in Calgary! This makes it the perfect time to head out into the great outdoors to learn more about the cool critters that share our world with an urban safari!


Via Edwin Rutsch
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The surprising psychology behind why some people become environmentalists:

The surprising psychology behind why some people become environmentalists: | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

It may not seem immediately apparent why empathy for other humans translates into concern for the environment, where issues (like air pollution) often affect humans but other times focus on animals, plants or nature itself. Empathy for a tree and empathy for a person do not initially seem as though they would be the same thing.

Nonetheless, the study found a small- to moderate-sized correlation between this measure of empathy and environmental values — as well as environmental activities.


For instance, reported the authors, “the stronger a participant’s dispositional compassion the higher the chance that they would donate to one or more nature or environmental organizations.”

The study didn’t stop there. It also tried to test the “causal relationship” between empathy and environmentalism.

By Chris Mooney

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Barbara Kerr's curator insight, March 24, 4:32 PM

Caring for the environment IS caring about people--of course!

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Three fun family activities to build empathy for animals - Calgary Humane Society

Three fun family activities to build empathy for animals - Calgary Humane Society | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

Today on the blog, we wanted to celebrate the weekend by bringing you some fun family activities that you can use to help children build empathy and respect for animals!

Head out on an urban safari! With spring just around the corner many awesome animals are once again making an appearance in Calgary! This makes it the perfect time to head out into the great outdoors to learn more about the cool critters that share our world with an urban safari!

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Jane Goodall explains empathy and why kids need pets

Jane Goodall explains empathy and why kids need pets | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
The primatologist sat down with MNN, sharing her thoughts on climate change, compassion and a dog named Rusty.


You've said your appreciation for animal sentience began with Rusty, a dog you befriended as a child in England. In what ways could you sense his sentience? Do you think growing up with pets is a good way for children to learn empathy for other animals?

I think it's desperately important for a child to grow up with a pet, providing there's somebody to make sure that they understand how the animal should be treated. And, you know, Rusty worked out problems. He worked out that if he was hot, he could trot down the road, down to the chine and have a little swim and come back. He even did pretend games. He was unlike any other dog I've ever had.



 

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Compassion education class teaches middle schoolers empathy, good citizenship

Compassion education class teaches middle schoolers empathy, good citizenship | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

From left, Dominique Edwards and Emma Malzacher, both 12, pet Schatzi as he sits in on their compassion education class. School Resource Officer Rob Tallion of the Kearney Police Department brings animals into the classroom to help students learn empathy.


Dominique is the daughter of Abigail Edwards, and Emma is the daughter of Brian and Sara Malzacher.


By JOSH MOODY

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Susan Stillman's curator insight, March 1, 9:41 AM

I love the idea that not only are the students learning about empathy from Schatzi, but also learning about the terrible problem of people neglecting and abusing animals. They learn how they can help. They resilience in Schatzi and his ability, like theirs, to commit to helping others.

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Entangled Empathy: How to Improve Human-Animal Relationships

Entangled Empathy: How to Improve Human-Animal Relationships | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

 A new book by Wesleyan University philosopher Lori Gruen  called Entangled Empathy: An Alternative Ethic for Our Relationships with Animals

 is a wonderful addition to a growing literature in the transdisciplinary field called anthrozoology , the study of human-animal relationships (the Kindle edition can be found here.

An interview I did with Professor Gruen lays out the basic foundation for her ideas about entangled empathy, a new and practical ethic for improving our relationships with nonhuman animals (animals) and also other humans. When I asked her to answer a few questions, in true form and in living up to her own deep connections with other animals, Professor Gruen wrote back to me, "Ok at the vet with one of my rescued rats, will do this as soon as I get home!"


Why did you write your new book?

I have been thinking about and writing about and talking about empathy for a while.


 I was at a conference at Yale a year or so ago and many people came up to me after my talk wanting to learn more about entangled empathy. 


by Marc Bekoff


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Pet Talk: Compassion fatigue an occupational hazard for veterinary professionals

Pet Talk: Compassion fatigue an occupational hazard for veterinary professionals | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it

"Just like there's a physical cost to running a marathon, there's an emotional cost to working with patients who are in pain or hurting," says Enid Traisman, a certified grief counselor and director of the Pet Loss Support Program at DoveLewis.

"It's different from ordinary stress, because with compassion fatigue, the causes are always related to caring for another person or animal when they're in crisis or pain."

Symptoms include increased negativity, isolation, difficulty separating work and personal life, self-destructive behaviors and apathy.

The key to combating compassion fatigue involves two simple steps, Traisman says: Awareness, which helps people prevent and heal, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.


By Monique Balas 

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Compassion fatigue: Why are Animal Caretakers Suffering as Much as the Animals?

Compassion fatigue: Why are Animal Caretakers Suffering as Much as the Animals? | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
Animal shelter workers are responsible for lives every day. Those difficult decisions that no one wants to make clash with their innate empathy, compassion and love for animals, and can lead to:

Sleepless nights
Nightmares
Alcohol or drug abuse
Emotional “numbing”
Feelings of guilt
Depression


by Jessica Ramos

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Chimps learn social behaviour from each other

Chimps learn social behaviour from each other | Empathy and Animals | Scoop.it
  • Researchers from the University of St Andrews and Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, showed chimpanzees learn kindness by watching each other
  • Claim it's the first evidence children and chimps share traits of altruism
  • In the experiment, pairs of chimps, monkeys, children and adults chose whether or not to reward each other with treats
  • Study found that adults did but monkeys and young children didn't
  • Children and chimps learned kind behaviour off more generous individuals

...Monkey see, monkey don't: The study revealed that capuchin monkeys (stock image shown) and young children didn’t display any prosocial traits in certain situations. But some children who failed to display kindness, showed generous behaviour after watching other kinder children.

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