CAAB Chats is a program featuring monthly discussions among CAABs (Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists) about topics that matter to people who love animals. A few years ago, along with my friend and colleagure Camille Ward, PhD, I took part in a CAAB Chat on Social Roles and Relationships in Dogs, a conversation about friendship, grief, jealousy, status, bullying, gratitude, and more. (If interested, you can listen to the replay for a fee.)
There are so many questions about social roles and relationships in dogs, and this chat touched on just a few of those we find particularly interesting.
•How do friendships develop among dogs?
•Do dogs have preferences for their play partners? What contributes to those preferences?
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•How do relationships among dogs, and between dogs and people go wrong?
•Why do we seem to have so many dogs who assume a “bullying” role with other dogs?
•How are the relationships dogs form with each other similar to those they form with people? How are they different?
•Can dogs feel gratitude?
•What do dogs experience when another dog they’ve lived with dies? Do they feel grief?
These “chats” are informal by design, so they have the potential to go in unanticipated directions, which is part of the fun. Additionally, listeners are asked to submit questions, and that can also result in interesting conversations.
Those with the CAAB certification have scientific and research backgrounds, and many of us have worked with animals with serious behavior problems. We spend an inordinate amount of time thinking, reading and talking about animal behavior (not to mention a lot of time with animals themselves!). We love chatting about our work, which is a labor of love for all of us. If you share that interest, I encourage you to check out the chats, both current and past.