CEU Event: How Do Early Experiences Affect the Well-Being of Animals?

When: Ongoing
Where: Online


CPDT-KSA Knowledge: 1.50 CBCC-KSA Knowledge: 1.00
CPDT-KSA Skills: 0.00 CBCC-KSA Skills: 0.00


In the last 80 years or so we have come to better understand how early experiences can have life-long consequences for the behavior of many species of birds and mammals. Social isolation from conspecifics at young ages can produce abnormal social and reproductive behavior, for example. There are also claims that exposure to specific experiences early in life can protect animals from deleterious effects of stressors later in life. It is clear that behavior scientists know much more about which early experiences can cause harm than they know about which early experiences are necessary to facilitate good welfare and quality of life. There’s good reason for this. The first principle in animal care is to do no harm, so researchers and animal caretakers have been more interested in finding how best to minimize and prevent harm to animals. However, giving animals a good quality life requires more than doing no harm. Recently more attention is being given to promoting and facilitating positive experiences and positive emotional states for animals. We’re only just beginning to understand and find ways to measure happiness and other emotional states in animals and what experiences and environments create them. Determining early experience factors that enhance later welfare requires a longitudinal, or life-long perspective. Are there experiences (or lack thereof) when animals are quite young for example, that create poor welfare later in life, or conversely that enhance the welfare of animals during adulthood? And what do we mean by these terms – Enhanced quality of life, good welfare or emotional/mental/behavioral well-being? In this two-part webinar we’ll review the literature on early experiences and behavior with an eye towards how they affect well-being throughout life. In the first session we’ll take a look at some definitional issues and what we know about early experiences that produce deficits in behavior and/or welfare. In the second session we’ll look at what early experiences enhance behavior and how caretakers can utilize all this information to make animal lives better. In this webinar you’ll learn The difficulty interpreting and assigning definitions or interpretations to terms such as enrichment, deprivation, behavioral and emotional well-being, quality of life and mental/behavioral health and the difficulty in interpreting behavioral research with regard to these terms The specific effects of different kinds of social deprivation on behavior The importance of timing of experiences on later behavior, that is, the importance of sensitive periods The role of environmental enrichment on later behavior How specific experiences affect physiological and behavioral adaptation

Sponsor:Animal Behavior Associates
Speaker(s):Suzanne Hetts, Ph.D., CAAB and Dan Estep, Ph.D., CAAB

Contact: Tracey
 Email: info@animalbehaviorassociates.com
 Phone: 303-932-9095
 Web: http://www.behavioreducationnetwork.com/