This episode, I am the interviewee! Sarah Stremming (internationally known behavior consultant and podcaster, and member of the FDC Advisory Board) and I dig in to what the "functional" in "Functional Dog Collaborative" means. What are the FDC's guidelines in terms of health and behavior for dogs in a truly "functional" breeding program? How can you assess whether a program is "functional"? This episode is also being released through Sarah's podcast, Cog Dog Radio. I hope it answers some questions that have been out there in internet land!
On this episode I have four people who have different perspectives on dogs and their owners. They talked about the expectations we have of dogs and whether they are reasonable; the limits of training to manage dogs in the wrong environments; and the ethical dilemma of "dog keeping" in an increasingly urban world. We also touched on how our relationships and expectations of dogs as pets are influenced by larger social issues. My guests are: Jacqueline George, MA, who works with people seeking puppies to help match them to the right breeder, shelter, or rescue; Sammy Hyde, KPA-CTP, CPDT-KA, UW-AAB, a dog trainer in the Boston area; and Laura Sharkey, PhD, KPA-CTP and Carolyn Kelly, MSN, RN, the founders of the Copilot Pet Dog Breeding Cooperative, both of whom have experience breeding dogs for pet homes. These four women have a lot of fascinating experience and insights and I hope you enjoy their conversation as much as I did.
Karen Hinchy has been breeding Chinooks for more than 13 years and is a guiding force in the Chinook Outcross Project. She's an extremely knowledgeable and science-minded breeder. I know that there are a lot of questions about there about how outcross projects work and what we can expect from them, and I hope this episode helps answer some of your questions.
(Note: I'm really glad to be back recording my first episode in more than a year. As many of you know, I have post concussive syndrome after a fall on ice a year ago, somewhat hilariously followed by a shattered ankle in June of last year which also delayed my recovery. It's been a long road but I'm starting to be able to record episodes again. I don't know what the episode schedule will look like as I start to get my feet back under me. For now, I'm doing what I can when I can.)
I didn't intend to have another hiatus so soon. But in late January, I slipped on ice and hit my head. I have been recovering slowly but surely. Slooowwwwllly. I have some episodes planned that I'm really excited about, but I'm still on quite limited screen time, and audio is still very, very hard for me to listen to. So, I apologize to have to put the podcast into hiatus, but it's going to have to wait for my head to recover. It will recover! But I am not sure quite when.
Thank you so much to all of you listeners for your support - it means a lot to me when I get feedback about how much you enjoy the podcast. It makes me feel sad to not be producing new episodes and I can't wait to get back to it.
Claire Apple is on the board of the American Working Farmcollie Association (AWFA). This week, Claire and I talk about what farmcollies are and what they do, how to think about populations of dogs who aren't just one breed, and registering dogs on merit. Come learn about dogs who do a really complex and multifactored job! For more about Claire, you can find her on Facebook or check out her training page, ncdogtraining.com. To learn more about AWFA, check out farmcollie.com.
Joyce Briggs is the President of the Alliance for Contraception in Cats & Dogs (ACC&D). She's dedicated her career to working in the world of animal sheltering, and has fascinating insights about how that world has changed over the past decades - backed up by some hard numbers. In this episode, we talk about the changing face of the animal shelter world in the United States, and speculate about what this could mean for people looking to get their next dog - and for dog breeders. To learn more about ACC&D, check them out at acc-d.org.
Find this episode's transcript here.
Kim Brophey is a behavior consultant who approaches dog behavior through an ethological lens. In this episode we talk about how we have selected different breeds for a variety of traits that make them more or less able to fit into our lives. To learn more about Kim, check out her book, Meet Your Dog, or her behavior consulting service at dogdoorcanineservices.com.
Emily Bray is an Animal Behavior Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Arizona and Canine Companions for Independence. Her area of interest is canine cognition, and she specifically studies the effects of different styles of maternal care on the adult personalities of dogs - in other words, does how your mom treats you affect who you will grow up to be? In this episode, Emily and I talk about what's known about maternal care generally in animals and people before diving into her studies in dogs and what she learned from them. Emily is excellent at communicating complex topics clearly, so come get your science on!
You can learn more about Emily at emilyebray.com, and follow her on Twitter at @DrEmilyBray. You can learn more about Canine Companions for Independence at cci.org. Emily and I talked about three of her papers in this episode:
- Bray, Emily E., et al. "Characterizing early maternal style in a population of guide dogs." Frontiers in psychology 8 (2017): 175. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00175/full
- Bray, Emily E., et al. "Effects of maternal investment, temperament, and cognition on guide dog success." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114.34 (2017): 9128-9133. https://www.pnas.org/content/114/34/9128.long
- Bray, Emily E., et al. "Cognitive characteristics of 8-to 10-week-old assistance dog puppies." Animal Behaviour 166 (2020): 193-206. https://www.danielhorschler.com/docs/BrayEtAl-2020-PuppyCognition.pdf
Jane Lindquist is the founder and owner of Puppy Culture, a widely used educational resource for raising and socializing puppies. She herself breeds and competes with bull terriers. As it turns out, she is very thoughtful when it comes to how to apply science to the raising of puppies. We had a wide ranging conversation, at times nerdy, at times philosophical. You can learn more about Puppy Culture at www.puppyculture.com, and more about Jane's breeding program, Madcap Bull Terriers, at www.madcapbullterriers.com.
Find this episode's transcript here.
The podcast is going on a short hiatus, and then will resume broadcasting biweekly. Meantime, catch up on what is happening with the Functional Dog Collaborative, including breeding cooperatives, news on the long awaited database, and more.