The Functional Breeding Podcast

Emily Bray, PhD: Maternal Care in Dogs

January 21, 2021

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, and follow her on Twitter at @DrEmilyBray. You can learn more about Canine Companions for Independence at 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.
- 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.
- Bray, Emily E., et al. "Cognitive characteristics of 8-to 10-week-old assistance dog puppies." Animal Behaviour 166 (2020): 193-206.

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