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What Makes You Click?

Author: Daniel Mills

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A series of conversations with academics, friends, pioneers and generally interesting people, hosted by veterinary behaviourist Daniel Mills
30 Episodes
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#27 Pilley and Chaser

#27 Pilley and Chaser

2021-12-2001:25:03

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

#26 David Applebly

2021-12-1101:20:35

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

#25 Alexandra Horowitz

2021-11-3001:18:10

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.

#24 Hal Herzog.

2021-11-1401:41:36

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. 
#23 Sandra McCune

#23 Sandra McCune

2021-10-3001:46:02

In this episode I get to chat with pioneer in HAI and visiting professor at Lincoln, Dr Sandra McCune. Sandra qualified as a registered veterinary nurse (Royal College of Veterinary Nursing) in Dublin before completing a degree in zoology from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. She has a PhD in animal behaviour and welfare from the University of Cambridge, U.K. She has studied a range of companion animal topics including aspects of temperament, behaviour, cognition and welfare, and Human-Animal Interaction (HAI).Until 2019, Sandra was a scientific leader for Mars Petcare, based at the Waltham Petcare Science Institute. For 12 years, she led the HAI area in research and then HAI science communications, and established Mars as the industry’s thought leader in this field. She has extensive experience studying HAI from both animal and human perspectives in collaborations with HAI researchers from the USA, U.K., Austria, France, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Russia, Japan and China and regularly presents internationally on companion animals and their relationship with people.Sandra was instrumental in the establishment of the public-private partnership between the National Institutes of Health and Mars/WALTHAM focused on child development and HAI resulting in a multi-million dollar programme of high-quality HAI research, workshops and several edited volumes, journal series and book chapters.She is the founding director of Animal Matters Consultancy Ltd, providing expert input on a wide range of animal issues. She is a SCAS trustee and a Fellow of the Annenberg PetSpace Leadership Institute. She shares her home with her family including two cats and a lurcher.Researchgate profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sandra_Mccune/publications.Twitter: @sandra_mccune LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sandra-mccune/
#22 Patrick Pageat

#22 Patrick Pageat

2021-10-1301:33:44

In this chat I catch up with French veterinarian and behaviour scientist Patrick Pageat. Patrick is the father of pheromonatherapy, being the person who developed the first commercial pheromone products for companion animals (Feliway and Adaptil). He is also the originator of what has become known as the "French" approach to clinical animal behaviour and in this chat discusses how it came about and how his views of this approach have changed over time - to the point that he is concerned how it is currently being applied. He is also a passionate horseman and so we chat about that too. A really interesting and candid insight into both the man and his work.
#21 Kendal Shepherd

#21 Kendal Shepherd

2021-09-2101:31:04

In this episode I get to catch up with Kendal Shepherd, who has created a range of resources to help reduce the risk of conflict between dogs and humans of all ages. Kendal has a remarkable ability to simplify complex ideas to make them more accessible. She is also a leading expert witness in cases involving dog injuries and the Dangerous Dogs Act.
#20 Christine Nicol

#20 Christine Nicol

2021-09-1201:27:20

In this episode I get to catch up with my former tutor at Bristol, Prof Christine Nicol. She discusses how nerve-wracking it was to start out at Bristol, but how she came to lead the development of perhaps the biggest animal welfare group in the world. We discuss ethical and practical issues concerning animal welfare research and its communication to a wider audience (Would you eat an alien?);  also a bit about our horse work.
#19. Don Broom

#19. Don Broom

2021-08-3001:27:42

I have known Don for many years, indeed he was my PhD examiner, and we had great discussion then! He was the first professor of Animal Welfare in the world - a truly amazing pioneer. Always thoughtful and thought-provoking. We discuss his early career and influences, the emergence of animal welfare as a scientific field, as well as how he has got interested in the evolution of morality and religion and his greatest achievements. Essential listening for anyone interested in animal welfare and scientific thinking. 
18. Dennis Turner

18. Dennis Turner

2021-08-3001:22:05

I catch up with pioneering cat behaviourist and anthrozzologist Dennis Turner. We talk about how he ended up in this field and some of the people he has met along the way. As always Dennis is candid aboout his opinions and provides valuable insight into various aspects of the field. I really enjoyed hearing about Paul Leyhausen, who wrote the seminal text on cat behaviour and while I have his book, much of his research is in German. Dennis also flags some other researchers who be less well known to those of us with limited linguistic ability. Links to relevant websites can be found on the YouTube video: https://youtu.be/v-bvwW2si7w
17. Zazie Todd

17. Zazie Todd

2021-07-1101:34:06

In this episode I catch up with  companion animal blogger and psychologist Zazie Todd PhD. We discuss the public communication of science and some of the challenges associated with selling positive trainign methods. We also discuss her late arrival to the love of dogs. 
#16a Simon Gadbois Part 1

#16a Simon Gadbois Part 1

2021-05-2401:10:03

In this episode I catch up with Simon Gadbois. His father was a student of Piaget, and he himself did his PhD with the late great John Fentress ( a former student of Robert Hinde). So he has a really balanced view of the ehtological-psychological distinction. His work on how complex behaviours can arise from relatively simple rules without complex cognition is fascinating and he has a strong interest in the philosophy of science; both topics we cover in this episode, before moving on to to more canid specific stuff in part 2. I would recommend this episode to every graduate student doing behaviour work, but also anyone intersted in how we "know" things. 
#16b Simon Gadbois part 2

#16b Simon Gadbois part 2

2021-05-2301:06:40

In this second part of our chat we discuss issues rtelating to the learning quadrant:  reinforcement and punishment, before moving on to misunderstandings concerning dominance especially in wolves
#15 Roger Mugford

#15 Roger Mugford

2021-03-1101:47:31

In this episode I catch up with Roger Mugford. He was the person who first inspired me and many others to get into behaviour.  Never one to avoid controversy, this episode may not be to everyone's liking as Roger argues about the importance of being able to find solutions, and I try to convince him, that we should consider human behaviour change methods more. We can agree to disagree and not fall out. He has lots of ideas as ever. 
#14 James Serpell

#14 James Serpell

2021-03-0501:21:27

In this episode I get to chat with pioneer in the field James Serpell. We talk about his amazing book, "In the Company of Animals", CBARQ and FeBarQ, and generally about HAI stuff. Lovely to catch up, even if I was thrown by his beard!
#012 Sarah Heath

#012 Sarah Heath

2021-02-0801:44:33

In this episode I chat with pioneering veterinary behaviourist Sarah Heath. I have known Sarah since we were both students at Bristol, and so this episode becomes quite  a personal one. We discus important influences and in particular the importance of educating both vets and owners. We also look to the future and what we feel are the priorities. Sarah is extremely candid about the impact of the health challenges she has faced - truly inspirational. 
#013a Clive Wynne [Part 1]

#013a Clive Wynne [Part 1]

2021-02-0801:01:11

My chat with Clive is divided into 2 parts. In part 1 we discuss animal cognition and his academic background, which gives him such a  refreshingly balanced perspective on things. Always knew Clive was a deep thinker, but did not appreciate he was so aware of some of the other methods for evaluating biological phenomena that cannot be so easily reduced to physical entities.  fascinating chat. 
In Part 2 of my chat with Clive, we talk about his book "Dog is Love". In this we share our views of the dog-human relationship and its origins, and point to some future directions for research. Fascinating and illuminating!
I catch up with my former PhD student Karen Griffin, and discuss the first paper we produced from her PhD and its wider implications : Griffin, K. E., John, E., Pike, T., & Mills, D. S. (2020). Can this dog be rehomed to you? A qualitative analysis and assessment of the scientific quality of the potential adopter screening policies and procedures of rehoming organisations. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 7.You can access the paper here: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2020.617525/full
#011 Jean Donaldson

#011 Jean Donaldson

2021-01-2701:54:25

This was such a blast! In this episode I get to catch up with my friend and world leading trainer Jean Donaldson, author of the pioneering text "the culture clash". We quickly get into our stride, and cover so much. Jean is quite a behaviourist, and her views about some of the more apparently  "cognitive"training methods are fasscinating and worth reflecting on. So much here.  Sorry if we talk too quickly!
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