Center for Building a Culture of Empathy

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Culture of Empathy Builder:  Lee Charles Kelley


Lee Charles Kelley & Edwin Rutsch: How to Build a Culture of Empathy with Dogs

Lee Charles Kelley is a dog trainer and has written articles about empathy in dogs. He writes a blog in called My Puppy, My Self: How dogs make us human.

Lee and I talked about the nature of empathy in dogs from Lee's perspective of working with dogs as a trainer and having been an actor. We also reviewed the study, 'Empathic-like responding by domestic dogs to distress in humans', by Debbie Custance, and the related articles by Stanley Coren and Kevin Behan. We talked about the definitions of empathy and how dogs don't have the higher self-awareness based empathy that human have.

Sub Conference: Animals & Nature


Lee Kelley & Edwin Rutsch: How to Build a Culture of Empathy with Dogs



  • 00:00 Introduction

  • (transcription pending)

  • (Video Transcriptions: If you would like to take empathic action and create a transcription of this video, check the volunteers page.  The transcriptions will make it easier for other viewers to quickly see the content of this video.)



The Canine-Human Bond: Empathy in Rats? Altruism in Wolves? - Lee Charles Kelley
A new study, published in the December issue of Science Magazine, suggests that lab rats  wholike dogs, are social animals  have possibly exhibited evidence of both empathy and altruism.

Dog Study:  30 May 2012 - Study: Empathic-like responding by domestic dogs to distress in humans

Debbie Custance and Jennifer Mayer from Goldsmiths College in London,

Canine Empathy: Your Dog Really Does Care If You Are Unhappy by Stanley Coren, Ph.D

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


Do Dogs Have Empathy? Or Is It a Sixth Sense? - Lee Charles Kelley

Dogs are the world's most adaptable animal not because of their mental capacities, but because of their capacity to be in-synch emotionally with one another and with us


Empathy & Evolution: How Dogs Convert Stress Into Flow - Kevin Behan

Each small moment of emotional connection (i.e. “empathy”) between a dog and its owner may very well encapsulate the overarching mechanisms of evolution itself