Working Dog Division

From the 2021 Animal Behaviour Twitter Conference came this interesting presentation from the Working Dog World, presented by Maeve McCreary.

As a result, the CAPDT highlights that it is open to build connections with Working Dog Handlers across Canada!  Our organization has a member’s portal where information and videos of training are readily accessible, while our newsletter includes short summaries of dog-related research and articles on training topics.  Our private members-only Facebook group provides access to a network of professional dog trainers across Canada.  Our Working Dog division is currently looking for a lead who has a keen interest in building our services for working dog trainers and handlers and growing our networks.  Please email us if you are interested in being a hub for working dog knowledge in Canada, or explore becoming a member.

From the presentation:  Research on canine cognition is growing at a seemingly exponential rate, with most papers appearing post-2000. With notable exceptions (e.g. using cognition tasks to determine good working dogs), there is a disconnect between research and practice.

In a 32-item survey, 443 professional dog handlers/trainers indicated which research topics in canine behaviour/cognition would be relevant to their work, how open their field is to scientific findings, and where they are likely to look for findings.

The group rated having a keen interest in topics related to scent detection, associative learning, and attention to human behavioural cues. Topics related to early development, though not maternal care, also scored high.  86% said it would be very or extremely important to have discussion between trainers and researchers. 70% agreed that training is open to new ideas. Respondents noted limited access to research, though indicated effective venues for communication.

Below are two slides from the presentation highlighting the findings:

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