Viva la Difference! Comparative Canid Behavior
November 20-22, 2015
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There’s something about those canids that just draw us in. Is it the eyes that glow with amazing intelligence? Is it their social behavior that appeals to us, another social species? Whatever makes canids appealing to you, the Viva la Difference! workshop will take your understanding of canid behavior to a whole new level.
Why is a Chihuahua a good pocket wolf but a terrible estate guardian? Why would a fox make a terrible herding dog? What makes a wolf a wolf and not a coyote? What makes some breeds so darn challenging, and why are wild canids not great pets? What behaviors do dogs and wolves share?
Dogs, wolves and coyotes share many common behaviors. But there are important differences that make each species well suited to their role in Nature. From their physical conformation to what Coppinger refers to as “behavioral conformation,” each canid species is unique. Appreciating the similarities and differences enriches our understanding of canids as a whole.
We will look in depth at the structure and anatomy that underlies the behavioral differences, and the connection between the two. What are the features of domestication, and how do they differ from tameness or imprinting? Through interactions with Wolf Park’s socially imprinted foxes and wolves, we will get an up close look at how taming or imprinting modifies behavior without changing the essential nature of the animal.
Using video, hands-on exhibits and discussion we will look in detail at dog and wolf behavior in general, and more specifically, contrasted with the specifics selected for in various breeds or groups. What makes a Mastiff different from a Chihuahua is more than just size! Form, function, physiology and preferences are all affected by human selection for or against various traits.
- This land is my land — guarding & territorial behavior
- Why can’t we be friends? low dog/dog aggression breeds
- Responsibilities & rules Understanding the working dogs
- Look into my eyes Companion/toy breeds & neoteny
- Controlling space Herding breeds
- Why? and Why Not? The “hard to train” breeds
While each dog is an individual, selective breeding has shaped some interesting variations on “generic dog.” Learn how these differences are expressed, and why they can create confusion, frustration and conflict between dogs as well as between dogs and their humans. This fascinating look at dogs and differences will provide useful information on appreciating and enjoying each dog.
Attendees will leave with a deeper understanding of canids, new observation skills, and quite possibly the memory of a fox sitting on your shoulder or a wolf gliding by for a scratch.
Between them, Suzanne Clothier and Wolf Park’s Pat Goodmann have a lifetime of living with and working with animals of many species, with more than 60 years combined experience with canids. Their passion for and knowledge about canine behavior makes this seminar a must attend event! Sign up today!
Viva la difference!
CEU’s are available for this seminar!