Title: The Ethology of Play and What Canines Can Teach Us
When: 04/03/2013 at 20:00 to 03/03/2014 at 21:30
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Play behavior has often been ignored by many biological researchers due to the difficulty in defining what play is, its function, mechanisms, and origin. Many functional hypotheses of play have been advanced but little supporting evidence is available. Most current theories of play come from social play fighting in rodents or social signaling in primates but canines may turn out to be a critical group for understanding play. Play behavior is most often observed in non-stressed healthy animals in the wild or captivity. In most mammals the frequency of play behavior decreases as individuals reach adulthood. During this lecture we will investigate how to define play from an ethological perspective so it can be recognized across taxa. Moreover, the different types of play will be defined. Then, we will discuss some of the hypotheses of the function of play and as well as how canines are a timely and useful group for integrating empirical approaches to the study of play behavior. Finally, we will explore some of my current canine developmental play research and its implications for dog trainers and pet owners. A question and answer session will follow, moderated by Dr. Monique Udell.
Sponsor: Etraining for Dogs
Speaker(s): Karen M. Davis, PhD & Monique A. R. Udell, PhD (moderator)