This Workshop has been designed to share the recent scientific findings and methods used by researchers with dog trainers, veterinarians, early-career researchers, and all else interested in the unique cognitive and emotional skills of dogs. We have invited leading scientists from seven countries who are converging on a formulation of dogs’ abilities. The findings have both theoretical and applied consequences, especially as regards welfare.

We hope you will join us!

Official language is English. Italian-English interpreters will be available during the workshop.

16 November 2015 – Arrival day

  • Registration opens at 3.30 pm
  • Welcome of prof. Stefano Parmigiani, director of the School of Ethology, and of the directors of the Workshop
  • Poster session and welcome apéritif

17 November 2015 – Evolution, genes and environment

  • R. Bonanni – Wolves adapted to a domestic environment? A new interpretation of the social organization of free-ranging dogs
  • S. Cafazzo – Wolf-dog comparison: an overview of their social organization
  • Z. Viranyi – Wolf-dog comparisons: tracking the evolutionary origins of dog-human cooperation
  • Round table – Ethological perspectives on the concept of dominance in human-dog relationship (moderators: J. Van der Borg – Dominance and its behavioral measures in domestic dogs; E. Natoli – The impact of the professional background on the interpretation of dog social behavior and dominance relationships; A. Capra – True and false communication in the human/dog relationship: “dominance” and imposing behaviors)
  • P. Valsecchi – Canine Big Five: personality of man’s best friend
  • S. Barnard – Validity and pitfalls of temperament test for dogs
  • J. Serpell – Understanding breed differences in the behavior of dogs
  • Poster session
  • Discussion and summing up

18 November 2015 – Learning and emotions

  • J. Kaminski – Does the domestic dog have a Theory of Mind?
  • C. Fugazza – Do as I do. Social learning and imitation in dogs
  • S. Gadbois – Olfaction, olfactory learning, and the working sniffer dog
  • L. Huber – Dog-human interaction: what we understand about dogs and dogs understand about us
  • T. Travain – Physiological correlates of emotions in dogs
  • E. Colombo – Recognition of dog’s emotions by facial expression: is empathy enough?
  • Test to the partecipant for recognition of dog emotions
  • Discussion and summing up

19 November 2015 – Dogs social bonds to humans and conspecifics

  • E. Prato Previde – The immaterial cord: dog-human attachment
  • L. Horn – The dog-owner bond: how does it affect the dog’s behavior?
  • A. Horowiz – The work of dog play
  • N. Rooney – Dog training methods and their effect on dog welfare
  • J. Topal – The childlike nature of domestic dog – a (r)evolutionary view
  • S. Marshall-Pescini – To give or not to give? Exploring dogs prosocial tendencies in experimental settings
  • Round table – Future directions in dogs’ research
  • Poster session

20 November 2015 – Excursion

21 November 2015 – Departure day



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