A series of conversations with academics, friends, pioneers and generally interesting people, hosted by veterinary behaviourist Daniel Mills
#29 Kersti Seksel
I finally got to catch up and chat withKersti, who is a veterinary behaviourist certified in Australia, UK and North America. So she really does see the field from many perspectives. For her MSc she did a pivotal study which looked at what puppies actually gain from socialisation classes. We discussed this and other things when we caught up. Please don't forget to subscribe to be kept informed when new episodes become available, and if you enjoy it a like helps spread awareness of the site to others. Thanks
#28 Linda Case
A book that anyone with an interest in companion animal including horse behaviour should read is "beware the straw man". In my latest podcast I get to catch up with its author Linda Case - The Science Dog. A terrific communicator of science, who has a wonderful way of highlighting how we need to think about the various bits of science coming out. She has a particular passion for nutrition as well, so needless to say we end up chatting a lot about what you should and should not feed your dog. All good common sense based on science. Despite the glitches int he internet, we had a great chat, and I am grateful to Sedrick Vangronsveld for his editing skills. This would eb a lot later coming out, if it was not for his expertise. Hope you enjoy it.
#27 Pilley and Chaser
Pilley Bianchi, also known as Debbie Pilley, is the daughter of the late John Pilley, the Psychology Professor who owned Chaser, the dog with the largest vocabulary of any dog ever recorded. In this episode, we catch up to chat about her life with both of these characters and her thoughts about their legacy, alongside her own own insights into how animals learn.
We discuss both of our experiences about what helps dogs understand language better and what does not, as well as some of the wider philosophical points extending from this concerning dog cognition, consciousness and their welfare as a result; as well the wider legacy of Chaser and her father's philosophy on life.
If you have read her father's book "Chaser", you might just find this episode answers some of the questions you asked yourself as your read it. They were certainly some of the questions I had and so the episode is a great addition to it. If you haven't read it (why haven't you?), I would recommend it as a fascinating and uplifting read - ideal for the holiday!
Pilley Bianchi is also a very accomplished and multi-talented artist in her own right (see: https://www.pilleybianchi.com/about) and has a light hearted Christmas song out that you can listen to here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUPaUvpn_N8, (no it does not feature my tuneless singing you will be pleased to hear). Anyway I hope you enjoy this Christmas special and wish you all a great 2022. Thanks for watching and listening to the podcasts.
PS you can of course listen to this at any time of year! :-)
#26 David Applebly
In this episode I chat with pioneering behaviourist and advocate for professional standards in clinical animal behaviour David Appleby. We talk about his early experience with the RAF and Guide Dogs for the Blind before he moved into managing problem behaviour, his work on effect of early experience on later behaviour and separation related problems. Needless to say, given his role in leading the professionalisation of the field in the UK, we also discuss the issue of regulation and standards in the field. This is something he is passionate about and led him to return to education to get the qualifications he feels are necessary for competence in this field.
#25 Alexandra Horowitz
In this episode, I get to catch up with best selling author and canine psychologist Alexandra Horowitz. Famous for her research on the guilty look and olfactory mirror test in dogs amongst other things, we discuss this work further and her new book.
Alexandra has long been interested in understanding the umwelt (the personal perspective) of other animals, and like her book, she tries to discover what it is like to be a dog. She is a professor at Barnard College, Columbia University, where she teaches seminars in canine cognition, where she also heads up the Dog Cognition Lab.
#24 Hal Herzog.
In this episode I get to chat to someone I have always considered a deep thinker on human animal relationships and anthrozoology. I have often described him as "healthy sceptic" of the reported claims concerning the impact of pets on people., but he is also a leading figure in highlighting are moral ambiguities towards animals. Some may find the content of this podcast challenging, but as we conclude, although there are no simple solutions, if we stop and think, we can still act in a good way.
Hal Herzog has been investigating the complex psychology of our interactions with other species for a long time. He is particularly interested in how people negotiate real-world ethical dilemmas, and this forms the basis of much our discussion. He has studied animal activists, cockfighters, animal researchers, and circus animal trainers.
An award-winning teacher and researcher, he has written more than 100 articles and book chapters. He is also author of the brilliant thought provoking book "Some we love, Some we hate and some we eat" In 2013, he was given the Distinguished Scholar Award by the International Society for Anthrozoology.