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 using the contact form if you are interested in being a hub for working dog knowledge in Canada - or explore becoming a member by clicking the button above.
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: