In this episode, I speak with Dr. Sasha Protopopova. She is an Assistant Professor and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Chair holder in Animal Welfare at The University of British Columbia (UBC). If that sounds familiar, that’s because my last guest, Dr. von Keyserlingk is at the same University, in the… Continue reading Episode 8 – Dr. Sasha Protopopova
It’s time for a change. I started (consistently) publishing this blog about two years ago, maybe a little longer. As many of you know, I also recently started The Research Bites podcast. I am posting one blog post a month and about one podcast episode a month. That’s really not as frequently as I’d like… Continue reading Changes to the Science Matters blog
Last month I wrote about what is meant when we use the term reactivity and some of the different factors that influence reactivity. This month I’ll be talking about how we can use this information to improve our ability to work with reactive dogs. As a reminder, my preferred definition of reactivity is that of… Continue reading Addressing emotional reactivity
We spend a lot of time talking about reactivity in dogs. But what is reactivity? It seems there are many different definitions in the dog training world and this is actually true in the research world as well. In this blog post I’m going to do my best to create a cohesive storyline about what… Continue reading What is ‘reactivity’?
As trainers and behavior consultants, our job is to change behavior. Some behaviors are harder to change than others. Obviously, behaviors driven by strong emotions are difficult to change. But, intense emotions are not the only factor that can make behavior change difficult. Habitual behaviors are also very hard to alter. Furthermore, I believe habit… Continue reading Changing habits
I have written before about the relationship between emotional state and the ability to cope with stress. Stress resiliency is so important because the inability to effectively cope with stress is linked to a wide variety of mental and physical health disorders. In dogs, this often manifests as an increased likelihood of behavior issues. And,… Continue reading Emotional Well-Being and Sensitivity to Reinforcement and Punishment
Working with animals that suffer from high levels of anxiety and fear is heartbreaking. They are suffering in a very real way and, as much as we want to help them, dramatic progress is often difficult. There are many possible causes of intense fear and anxiety, but in this blog post I’m going to focus… Continue reading Trauma, Chronic Stress, and the Brain
Ethology is the study of animal behavior in the natural environment. It examines animal behavior from an evolutionary perspective. That means there is a focus on the adaptive function of behavior. Ethology allows us to understand the wide range of factors that influence dog behavior. This knowledge improves our ability to interpret behavior, identify and… Continue reading Ethology, Natural Selection, and Aggression
For this month’s blog post, I am sharing the most recent summary of a Research Bites webinar. Normally, these are exclusively for members, but I wanted to make this one available as a sneak peak of the kind of information that is covered in Research Bites. November’s topic also happens to be extremely important for… Continue reading Executive function – what is it and why does it matter?