Physiology

WINNER: Animal Behaviourist of the Year 2021 – Home Counties

Great news The LUXLife Pet Product & Services Awards 2021 winners have been announced, and I am delighted to receive the title ‘Animal Behaviourist of the Year 2021 – Home Counties‘.  Thank you for all your continued support, it means such a lot. You can read more about this by clicking onto the LUXLife Summer […]

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Living with behavioural problems – owners’ experiences

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Over the years I’ve seen the emotional and financial impact on owners who live with a pet that exhibits undesirable behaviours. Whilst there is plenty of data relating to the welfare of pets with problems, there is little on the effect such problems may have on human-half of the relationship.  However, a recent paper by […]

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The impact of pre-adolescent dog training on behaviour

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A new study by Dinwoodie et al. (2021) has looked the age at which dogs were trained as puppies and whether there were advantages of training puppies before 4 months of age, or between 5 and 6 months.   This is the first time a study has specifically investigated whether early puppy training (<3 months […]

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Maternal stress & puppies

I worked out the other week that since the pandemic started, I’ve trained with well over 200 puppies with this figure rising daily. Maternal stress Whilst there’s always been a steady stream of puppies across a typical year, never before has the demand for four-legged companionship been so high.    However, an increasing number of […]

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Self-awareness in animals

The most common test of self-awareness is the ‘mirror test’ developed by Gallup in 1970, originally using chimpanzees.    The mirror test works on the principle of placing a mark (e.g. sticker or painted dot) on the subject somewhere they typically do not see, such as their forehead, then they are given access to a […]

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Cat stress, health & behaviour

Data suggests even stoic cats can have elevated levels of adrenaline, noradrenaline, dopamine, and other stress hormones, and that chronically stressed cats often feign sleep.  So until the cat exhibits obvious signs that attracts the owner’s attention, such as going off their food or reduced movement, the cat may be internalising his or her anxiety. […]

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Watching baby animals is good for you!

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It would take a hardened heart or perhaps an aversion to pets to not feel some sort of warm feeling when a photo of a puppy or kitten pops up on social media.  In fact, one food manufacturer recently found 73% of us would rather see a cute photo of a young pet than someone’s […]

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Pet grief – it hurts

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Pet-keeping is one of the closest forms of human-animal interaction in Western society.  Although owner-pet relationships may stem from genetically based inclinations that attract humans to other living beings, other reasons for pet ownership include providing stability (Brickel, 1986), reciprocal love, affection (Bradshaw, 2017) and a sense of self (Belk, 1988).  In other words, research […]

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PODCAST: Hanne’s interview on babies and dog-owner relationships

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I was delighted to recently speak with friend & trainer Oli Juste from Channel 4’s Puppy School.  Oli has a podcast series called A Dog’s Best Friend.  This interview was all about my research on whether having a baby alters the dog-owner relationship.  I also share advice for expectant and new parents. The podcast is […]

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Bird ringing with Gary Beckett & Paul Watts

As part of National Volunteers’ Week, I wanted to highlight the great work done by many volunteers in conservation.  That’s why I spent time with Gary Beckett the Conservation Officer at Bicester Garrison and Paul Watts, an ornithologist and conservation volunteer at the 2,000+ acre site. The area which crosses the Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire borders […]

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