Tuesday, 18 October 2016
Dog Day at Vogrie Park - The Science behind the Wag
Dr Amy Miele from the JMICAWE team recently took part in a Midlothian Science Festival event entitled, ‘Dog Day: The Science Behind the Wag’, which was held at Vogrie Country Park on Sunday 9th October. The free event attracted hundreds of dog enthusiasts of all ages, who were able to get involved in hands on drop-in activities, workshops, agility and obedience demonstrations as well as an expert Q&A session.
Members of the R(D)SVS, The Roslin Institute, Midlothian Dog Training Club, Dog’s Trust, Guide Dog’s Association, Canine Concern Scotland (Therapets) and All4paws came together to create an educational and fun-filled afternoon.
Activities focussed on understanding canine body language and emotions, with a ‘name the emotion’ task led by Benjamin Cross, R(D)SVS student and founder of the Dick Vet Animal Behaviour Society and a desensitisation workshop run by behaviour consultant and R(D)SVS lecturer in Clinical Animal Behaviour, Dr Amy Miele. Amy was also one of the experts in the Q&A session (alongside trainer and behaviour advisor Julie Morrison from the Dog’s Trust and trainer Carol Mcdonald from the Midlothian Dog Training Club) , which was lively, stimulating and informative.
Event organiser Dr Heather McQueen from the University of Edinburgh and Midlothian Dog Training Club commented, ‘The event was a resounding success, people were genuinely fascinated by what the experts had to say and seemed really keen to utilise what they had learned to optimise their relationship with their dog’.
The event ended with the ‘Corridor of Temptation’, where owners were given the opportunity to show off their dog’s recall skills by asking them to run past a plethora of tempting treats and toys, including a plate of sausages and a rather life-like moving cat toy! While some dogs took the distractions in their stride and had eyes only for their handler, others were a little more curious, requiring the sausages to be replenished on a regular basis!