Learn about your dog or cat’s behavior! Research participation opportunity in Oregon!


The Oregon State University Human-Animal Interaction Lab is
is seeking participants for a research opportunity in Corvallis, OR!

How Has the Pandemic Impacted Your Pets? Help us understand pet behavior and human-animal bonds were impacted by the events of this past year. 

This study will take place on the Oregon State University Corvallis campus (Withycombe Hall) and include a short survey and two behavioral attachment tests with your dog or cat (taking approximately 20-30 minutes per pet; you can schedule multiple pets for back to back sessions or on separate days if desired). 

Current study needs: 

Dogs or cats that have previously visited our lab: If you have had a pet participate in attachment bond research in our lab previously (dog, cat or both) any or all are eligible to participate. Given the changes to daily routine that many of us our experiencing during the pandemic, we are in special need of returning participants to help us understand how the unusual events of this past year have impacted dog/cat behavior and the human-animal bond.  If this is a second visit for one or more of your pets, we ask that the same human caretaker accompany the animal, as we are interested in comparing behavioral responses in the presence of the same person.

New dog or cat participants acquired during the pandemic (March 2020- present): If you have acquired a pet during this period, or know someone who has, they are also eligible to participate. 

 Other dogs and cats: If you have additional dogs or cats that do not fall into the above categories, you are welcome to enroll them too! We will be looking at first-time testing of animals adopted pre-pandemic for comparison. 

To participate, pets must be in good health, current on vaccinations (for their age) and not be on medication that would be expected to significantly alter their behavior. 

If you wish to participate, please contact us to schedule, and we will provide you with the information you need prior to participation. 

Please contact Hallie Shean to schedule testing times: sheanh [at] oregonstate.edu 
  
You can also email the study PI with any questions: Monique.udell [at] oregonstate.edu

Learn more about the Human-Animal Interaction Lab: www.thehumananimalbond.com 

Upcoming talk! Cat Behavior and Cognition- Using science to increase cat welfare and strengthen the human-cat bond

KristynHeadshotSpeaker: Kristyn Vitale 
When:
September 19, 2017
Time: 8:00 PM EDT (Midnight UTC)
Cost: $25.00
Where: Online Webinar, Register at: www.e-trainingfordogs.com

In this cat behavior and cognition webinar, Kristyn Vitale will discuss the current science behind cat behavior and ways to utilize this knowledge in applied settings to improve cat welfare and strengthen the human-cat bond. Even though domestic cats are one of the world’s most popular companion animals, coexisting with humans for thousands of years, many questions remain unanswered about cat behavior, cognition, and the human-cat bond. Although science has much more to learn about cats, several applied benefits exist from future research in this area. Currently, pet cats outnumber dogs by almost 10 million in the US alone and millions of cats live in shelters or are free-roaming outdoors. Over 3.4 million cats enter already crowded shelters each year and of those surrendered by owners, approximately 27% are surrendered due to behavioral issues or incompatibility between cat and owner.

The talk will cover a variety of topics including:

  • the importance of scent in cat behavior
  • how to run cat preference assessments
  • free-roaming cat social behavior
  • the human-cat relationship
  • cat socialization & training

Simple Cat Training with Bo & Macy

Right now I’m working on several behaviors with Bo. None of these behaviors are new, but he knows some better than others. Macy shows up to show-off as well! For rewards, I use things each of the cats likes- such as deli turkey, petting, and praise. Below are some tips from different times of the video to give some additional detail on the behaviors! 

0:13 Bo is just learning the paw behavior and this is the second session he’s worked on it. Now that he is understanding the paw behavior I am working on adding in the vocal command, “paw”. When adding in a new cue, start by presenting the cue slightly after they do the behavior. So, I start to add the verbal cue “paw” slightly after he touches his paw to my hand. Eventually you can move the cue up, so it precedes the behavior. Then you can say “paw” and they will give you a high-5. 

0:19 Bo knows the jump behavior but he can be lazy sometimes! I know he can jump higher, so I only reward if I think the jump is worthy. This allows me to variably reward the jump behavior – meaning sometimes I give a treat, sometimes I don’t. Never knowing when the treat is going to come, Bo will try harder and give me a higher jump. 

0:46 Instead of using a closed hand for targeting like I do for Bo, I use a tap target so Macy can hear the area I want her to approach. Macy is blind so an auditory cue works best for her. 

0:50 I give Bo some treats for doing a good job and to divert his attention away from Macy’s treats!