In the season finale of Dogs in Our World, Adam Winston ends his journey by learning from another one of his favorite people. Dr. Jim Ha is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and professor at University of Washington. His early research focused on wild animals, but now all of his work and teaching centers around the animals in our home, such as dogs and cats. In Part 1 of their conversation, Adam learns that we actually know a lot less about dogs than many other animals. Dr. Jim Ha also claims that this continued lack of canine science could eventually lead to a public health hazard. Check out Adam’s new services page to see how he can help your dog or organization. Join the audience at dogsinourworld.com.
*Music donated by Dave Elkins and Travis Adams
My academic and practical training is in the social behavior of birds and mammals, with a special focus on highly social species like domestic dogs, crows and jays, primates, and killer whales. My background includes a Bachelor's degree in Biology from Millersville University (1980), a Master’s degree in Biology from Wake Forest University (1983), a Ph.D. in Zoology, with a specialization in animal behavior, from Colorado State University(1989), and professional credential as a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, the highest level of certification in dog behavior that is available. At the University of Washington since 1990, I am currently a Research Full Professor in Psychology (Animal Behavior Program) where I teach and conduct research in complex social behavior and cognition of several animal species. My teaching and lecturing on dog behavior is international, with participation in international professional conferences and recently, teaching a course in dog behavior in Brazil.
Via: Renee Robinette Ha, James C Ha / Animal Behavior on ScienceDirect
The producer–scrounger model assumes that producers are animals that search for food, and scroungers are animals that steal food found by producers. By following foraging decisions made by beach-foraging crows, we assessed individual variability in strategy use, variables influencing the finder's share (when defined as the probability of retaining a prey item in the presence of food theft behaviour) and the benefits and costs of producing and scrounging.
Via: Renee Robinette Ha, James C Ha / Animal Behavior on ScienceDirect
Vigilance behaviour is thought to be largely controlled by the threat of predation on foragers. In addition, an inverse relationship between group size and vigilance has been documented repeatedly and is known as the group size effect. We suggest that groups of beach-foraging northwestern crows are vigilant for predators and for opportunities to steal (‘scrounge’) from conspecifics.
The modern science of animal behavior, which we call ‘ethology’, has come a long way in the past few decades, from a largely observational, descriptive science to a modern, quantitative science based on solid foundations of evolutionary biology and quantitative methodology. One of the most common situations in which I realize this is when I see, read, and hear old, out-dated animal behavior concepts and ideas and long-ago-rejected hypotheses used by pet animal behaviorists.
Via: Anouck Haverbeke, B. Leporte, E. Depiereux, Claire Diederich / Applied Animal Behavior Science
While only a few studies have analysed training methods used on working dogs, a recent survey in 303 Belgian military handlers revealed the use of harsh training methods on military working dogs (MWD). The present work aims at analysing the training methods used on Belgian MWD and the behaviour of handlers to objectify the performances of the dog handlers teams (DH teams) and the welfare of the animals.
Via: Nicola Jane Rooney and Sarah Cowan / Applied Animal Behavior Science
The methods by which owners train their pet dogs range widely, with some exclusively using rewards, and others using a combination, or only punishment-based methods. This paper examines links between the way in which owners reported to have trained their dogs and observations of the dogs’ subsequent behaviour. It also explores associations between behaviour of owner and dog when tested in their own home.
Via: Christine Arhant, Hermann Bubna-Littitz, Angela Bartels, Andreas Futchik, Josef Troxler / Applied An
The owner's behaviour is regarded to be a possible cause of unfavourable behaviour such as poor obedience or excitability in smaller dogs. The aim of this study was to investigate whether owner behaviour such as use of training methods, inconsistency in the owner's behaviour or engagement in shared activities differs between owners of smaller (<20 kg) and larger dogs (≥20 kg) and whether associations between the owner's and the dog's behaviour in smaller dogs differ from those in larger dogs.
Via: Pat Miller, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA / Whole Dog Journal
The alpha myth is everywhere. Google “alpha dog” on the Internet and you get more than 85 million hits. Really. While not all the sites are about dominating your dog, there are literally millions of resources out there – websites, books, blogs, television shows, veterinarians, trainers and behavior professionals – instructing you to use force and intimidation to overpower your dog into submission. They say that you, the human, must be the alpha. They’re all wrong. Every single one of them.
Dogs' closest living relatives are wolves. Analysis of the two species' genomes has revealed differences that some scientists believe are a result of dogs being subject to artificial selection imposed by humans.
From the 80-kilogram Great Dane to the 1-kilogram tiny teacup poodle, there seems to be a dog for everyone. Now, the largest genetic analysis to date has figured out how those breeds came to be, which ones are really closely related, and what makes some dogs more susceptible to certain diseases.
Via: Stanley Coren Ph.D., DSc, FRSC / Psychology Today
The remarkable surge in genetic technology has now allowed us to look at dogs and dog breeds in a whole new way. We can not only determine the wild canine ancestral species from which our dogs were domesticated, but we can also determine a timeline which allows us to see how close any given breed is to the ancient primitive wolf from which our dogs evolved.
Via: Stanley Coren Ph.D., DSc, FRSC / Psychology Today
What is personality? What leads to personality differences among breeds? What leads to differences in personality even among individuals within the same breed? Biology teaches us that there are two main ingredients that contribute to making all of us what we are: genetics (“nature”) and the environment (“nurture”). In dogs a large proportion of their personality is due to their inherited genes.
Via: Adrienne F. Sussman, Exu A. Mates, James C. Ha, Kathy L. Bentson, Carolyn M. Crockett / National Cen
Personality change in nonhuman primates is a topic that warrants more research attention. Many studies focus on intraindividual repeatability, but few note population-wide trends in personality change. In part, this results from the large sample size ...
Via: Amanda C. Jones, Samuel D. Gosling / Applied Animal Behavior Science
Spurred by theoretical and applied goals, the study of dog temperament has begun to garner
considerable research attention. The researchers studying temperament in dogs come from varied
backgrounds, bringing with them diverse perspectives, and publishing in a broad range of journals.
This paper reviews and evaluates the disparate work on canine temperament.
The Animal Behavior Society (ABS) is a non-partisan, non-profit, 501(3)(c) professional organization dedicated to promoting and advancing the scientific study of animal behavior. Members of ABS study behavior across all levels of biological organization, under natural and controlled conditions, and using descriptive and experimental approaches. Together with its sister organization, the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB), ABS edits the field’s flagship scientific journal, Animal Behaviour. ABS also sponsors annual research conferences, educational programs, outreach activities, student research grant competitions, and a professional certification program.
The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT), established in 2001, is the leading independent certifying organization for the dog training profession. The CCPDT is the leader in the development of rigorous exams to demonstrate mastery of humane, science-based dog training practices. Thousands of dog training professionals worldwide maintain the CCPDT’s certifications as a mark of high professional distinction.
The mission of the APDT Foundation is to provide funding for applied scientific research on dog training and behavior and to further increase the knowledge base of the dog training profession. The corporation is organized for charitable and educational purposes within the meaning of 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
Washington, D.C., August 6, 2012) A new study of house cats allowed to roam outdoors finds that nearly one-third succeeded in capturing and killing animals. The cats, which wore special video cameras around their necks that recorded their outdoor activities, killed an average of 2.1 animals every week they were outside, but brought less than one of every four of their kills home. Of particular interest, bird kills constituted about 13 percent of the total wildlife kills. Based on these results, American Bird Conservancy and The Wildlife Society estimate that house cats kill far more than the previous estimate of a billion birds and other animals each year.
The Family Dog Project was founded in 1994 by Vilmos Csányi, Ádám Miklósi and József Topál to study the behavioral and cognitive aspects of the dog-human relationship. It is currently the largest dog research group in the world, has over 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals, with several papers in the highest ranking scientific journals such as Science, Current Biology and Trends in Cognitive Sciences.
ASU KEDtalk: Why are dogs special?
Lots of people think dogs are unique in their intelligence. Clive Wynne, director of ASU’s Canine Science Collaboratory, says that’s not true. But he…
A dog is not for Christmas. This is.John Bradshaw, one of the world's leading dog experts, brings us a compelling insight into what dogs would ask us for, if only they knew how.The dog has been mankind's faithful companion for tens of thousands of years, yet today finds itself in crisis throughout the western world. Until just over a hundred years ago, most dogs worked for their living, and each of the many breeds had become well suited, over countless generations, to the task for which they were bred. Now, in their purely domestic roles we fail to understand their needs. And it is time that someone stood up for dogdom: not the caricature of the wolf in a dog suit, ready to dominate its unsuspecting owner at the first sign of weakness, not the trophy animal that collects rosettes and kudos for its breeder, but the real dog, the pet that just wants to be one of the family and enjoy life. Biologists now know far more about what really makes dogs tick than they did twenty years ago, but this new understanding has been slow to percolate through to owners, and has not yet made enough of a difference to the lives of the dogs themselves. This book is here to set the record straight.
Pets have never been more popular. Over half of American households share their home with either a cat or a dog, and many contain both. This is a huge change from only a century ago, when the majority of domestic cats and dogs were working animals, keeping rodents at bay, guarding property, herding sheep. Nowadays, most are valued solely for the companionship they provide. As mankind becomes progressively more urban and detached from nature, we seem to be clinging to the animals that served us well in the past.
In The Animals Among Us, anthrozoologist John Bradshaw argues that pet-keeping is nothing less than an intrinsic part of human nature. An affinity for animals drove our evolution and now, without animals around us, we risk losing an essential part of ourselves.
Dogs have been mankind's faithful companions for tens of thousands of years, yet today they are regularly treated as either pack-following wolves or furry humans. The truth is, dogs are neither--and our misunderstanding has put them in serious crisis.
What dogs really need is a spokesperson, someone who will assert their specific needs. Renowned anthrozoologist Dr. John Bradshaw has made a career of studying human-animal interactions, and in Dog Sense he uses the latest scientific research to show how humans can live in harmony with--not just dominion over-- their four-legged friends. From explaining why positive reinforcement is a more effective (and less damaging) way to control dogs' behavior than punishment to demonstrating the importance of weighing a dog's unique personality against stereotypes about its breed, Bradshaw offers extraordinary insight into the question of how we really ought to treat our dogs.
This is the first book to collate and synthesize the recent burgeoning primary research literature on dog behaviour, evolution, and cognition. The author presents a new ecological approach to the understanding of dog behaviour, demonstrating how dogs can be the subject of rigorous and productive scientific study without the need to confine them to a laboratory environment.
Why do dogs behave in the ways that they do? Why did our ancestors tame wolves? How have we ended up with so many breeds of dog, and how can we understand their role in contemporary human society? Explore the answers to these questions and many more in this study of the domestic dog. Building on the strengths of the first edition, this much-anticipated update incorporates two decades of new evidence and discoveries on dog evolution, behavior, training, and human interaction. It includes seven entirely new chapters covering topics such as behavioral modification and training, dog population management, the molecular evidence for dog domestication, canine behavioral genetics, cognition, and the impact of free-roaming dogs on wildlife conservation. It is an ideal volume for anyone interested in dogs and their evolution, behavior and ever-changing roles in society.
In the Company of Animals is an original and very readable study of human attitudes to the natural world. It contrasts the way we love some animals while ruthlessly exploiting others; it provides a detailed and fascinating account of ways in which animal companionship can influence our health; and it provides a key to understanding the moral contradictions inherent in our treatment of animals and nature. Its scope encompasses history, anthropology, and animal and human psychology. Along the way, the author uncovers a fascinating trail of insights and myths about our relationship with the species with which we share the planet.