CPT’s Mark Spivak Attends the 2017 Canine Science Conference

From October 6 – 8, CPT founder and Head Trainer and Dog Star Technologies Chief Operating Officer Mark Spivak attended the 2017 Canine Science Conference on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. The 3-day Canine Science Conference featured nationally and internationally renowned speakers in the field of canine genetics, canine behavior, and related sciences, including 2 persons from Mark’s research team at Emory University and Dog Star Technologies, ample networking opportunities, and a cornucopia of information that will be beneficial in productively evolving CPT’s training methodologies.

Elinor Karlsson of the University of Massachusetts Medical School discussing the polygenetic complexity of canine behavior at the Canine Science Conference held on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ.
Elinor Karlsson of the University of Massachusetts Medical School discussing the polygenetic complexity of canine behavior at the Canine Science Conference held on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ.

While attending, Mark listened to numerous insightful speakers from many countries, including the USA, Canada, the UK, Northern Ireland, Australia, France, and Austria; ate dinner with Ludwig Huber, an icon in the field of canine scientific study, who reciprocally said he was grateful to meet Mark, whose webinar “Innovative Canine Neuroscience” Ludwig attended last summer; renewed acquaintance with numerous other leading edge canine scientists, including Evan MacLean from the University of Arizona and Clive Wynne from Arizona State University; obtained acquaintance with many new researchers; enjoyed running in the dry Phoenix weather, although ironically Mark got bitten by a dog while running along the Salt River; and found time to visit the incredible Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix.

The conference subdivided sessions into a variety of subject areas with the field of canine science:

1) Genetics and History of the Domestic Dog,

2) Shelter Behavior and Welfare,

3) Therapy, Service, and Guide Dog Science,

4) Applied Behavior and Training,

5) Applied Behavior and Behavioral Assessment,

6) Attachment and Behavioral Synchronicity,

7) Inhibitory Control and Persistence,

8) Sociability and Preference,

9) Cognition and Learning,

10) Physiology and Health,

11) Gustation and Olfaction,

12) Canid-Canid Interactions, and

13) Canid-Human Interactions.


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Each session featured a number of top-flight researchers and presentations, including:

• Greger Larson, Oxford University- “The Evolutionary History of Dogs in the Americas”

• Christopher Jung, Petwatch- “Honor for a Scavenger? Searching Evidence for Dog Domestication on the Waste Dump”

• Kathryn Lord, University of Massachusetts Medical School- “The Genetics of the Critical Period of Socialization in Dogs and Wolves”

• Evan MacLean, University of Arizona- “Breed Differences in Dog Behavior are Highly Heritable”

• Katherine Grillaert, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna- “Behavioral and Epigenetic Variations in Differentially Socialized Puppies”

• Jessica Hekman, University of Massachusetts Medical School- “Transcriptomics of the Stress Response in Tame and Aggressive Foxes”

• Anna Kukekova, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign- “Red Fox Genome Assembly Identifies Genomic Regions Associated with Tame and Aggressive Behaviors”

• Robert Wayne, University of California, Los Angeles- “Evolutionary History, Selective Sweeps and Deleterious Variation in the Dog”

• Elinor Karlsson, University of Massachusetts Medical School- “Pet Dogs, Citizen Science and the Genomics of Behavior”

• Bethany Loftus, University of Bristol- “Risk Factors for Abnormal Repetitive Behavior in Kenneled Dogs”

• Regina Willen, Miami University, Ohio- “A Program of Human Interaction Reduces a Standard Measure of Aggression in Fearful Shelter Dogs”

• Steven Payne, Fresno State University- “The Evaluation of Variables Associated with Problem Behavior in Shelter Dogs”

• Lisa Gunter, Arizona State University- “What Can Short-Term Fostering Do for the Welfare of Dogs in Shelters? Preliminary Results of a Nationwide Study”

• Allison Andrukonis, Texas Tech University- “”Determining Compassion Fatigue in Animal Care Employees Using Behavioral, Physiological, and Subjective Measures of Stress and Wellbeing”

• Gregory Berns, Dog Star Technologies- “Functional MRI in Awake Dogs Predicts Suitability for Service Work”

• Emily Bray, University of Arizona and Canine Companions for Independence- “The Effects of Maternal Investment, Temperament, and Cognition on Guide Dog Success”

• Meg Olmert, Warrior Canine Connection, Inc.- “Measuring Objective and Subjective Effects of Service Dog Training Therapy on PTSD Through Randomized Control Trials at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center”

• Megan Arant, Texas Tech University- “Observation of Therapy Dogs’ Stress and Affiliative Behavior Across Time”

• Lynna Feng, La Trobe University- “Clicker Training May Operate Through Different Mechanisms in Applied Versus Controlled Settings”

• Jonathan Cooper, University of Lincoln- “Fine Grained Analysis of Efficacy and Welfare Consequences of Training Dogs with Remote Static Training Collars (E-collars)”

• Glenna Pirner, Texas Tech University- “Rabbit Maternal Pheromone Decreases Heart Rate and Anxiety Behaviors in Domestic Dogs During a Simulated Thunderstorm”

• Hannah Flint, University of Guelph- “Effect of Targeted Training on Dog Owners Rating of Fear in Videos of Dogs”

• James Serpell, University of Pennsylvania- “Thirteen Years of C-BARQ: The Advantages and Limitations of Online Behavioral Assessments”

• Monique Udell, Oregon State University- “Evaluating Dog-Human Attachment Styles: Methodological and Practical Considerations”

• Lauren Thielke, Oregon State University- “Attachment Styles in Dogs: Indicators of Separation Anxiety and Welfare Outcomes”

• Charlotte Duranton, University of Zix-Marseille- “Pet Dogs Show Social Preference Towards People Who Synchronize Their Behaviors with Them”

• Alizee Vermouillet, University of Manitoba- “Inhibitory Control in Pet Dogs”

• Leslie Angel, Carroll College- “Self-Control in the Domestic Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)”

• Lauren Brubaker, Oregon State University- “Differences in Problem Solving Between Canid Populations: Do Domestication and Lifetime Experience Affect Persistence?”

• Erica Feuerbacher, Carroll College- “What Does Man’s Best Friend See in Us? Dogs’ Preferences for Different Humans and Human Interactions”

• Kelsea Brown, Texas Tech University- “Procedural Variations and Differences in Measurement Affect Canine Sociability Outcomes”

• Robert Mitchell, Eastern Kentucky University- “”Functions and Organizations by Humans and Dogs’ Responses During Dog-Human Play Between Familiar and Unfamiliar Players”

• Valeri Farmer-Dougan, Illinois State University- “Changes in Social Interactions with Sensory Stimuli Loss: Hearing and Vision Impaired Dogs”

• Shanis Barnard, Queens University, Belfast- “Personality Traits Affecting Judgement Bias Task Performance in Dogs (Canis lupus familiaris)”

• Ashley Prichard, Emory University- “Associative Learning with Awake fMRI: When Frabjous, Flamingo, or Fragrance Foretell Food”

• Julie Espinosa, University of Toronto- “The Solidarity Principle in Domestic Dogs”

• Daphna Buchsbaum, University of Toronto- “Dogs’ Sensitivity to Ostension is not Sufficient for Pedagogical Reasoning”

• Janis Bradley, National Canine Research Council- “No Better Than Flipping a Coin: Reconsidering Behavior Evaluations in Animal Shelters”

• Victoria Cussen, University of California, Davis- “Discriminant Validity of a Questionnaire Survey in Canine Behavior Disorders”

• Pamela Reid, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals- “The Validity of a Fake Dog for Assessing Dog Sociability in Dogs from Cruelty Cases”

• Katherine Miller, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals- “A Statistical Model to Predict Treatment Outcomes for Extremely Fearful Dogs at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center”

• Christina Lee, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals- “Surveying the Behavior Concerns of Adopters of Animal Cruelty Victims to Focus Shelter Behavior Programs”

• Clive Wynne, Arizona State University- “The Present Pitfalls but Promising Potential of Behavioral Evaluations in Shelters”

• Alexandra Protopopova, Texas Tech University- “The Effects of Temperament on Stress and Upper Respiratory Disease in Dogs in Animal Shelters”

• Silvan Urfer, University of Washington- “What’s Up Dog? Using Primary Care Veterinary Data to Implement the One Health Paradigm in Geroscience”

• Ash Jiminez, Colgate University- “Cellular Oxidative Stress as a Determinant of Longevity Between Small and Large Breed Dogs”

• Kathleen Shorter, University of New England- “Variability of Kinetic and Kinematic Variables Associated with Canine Gait: A Preliminary Investigation”

• Kim Kortekaas, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna- “The Effects of Domestication on the Stress Responsiveness of Domestic Dogs”

• Carolyn Walsh, Memorial University of Newfoundland- “The Dual Hormone Hypothesis and Domestic Dog’s Cortisol and Testosterone Interactions Predict Competitive Task Outcome”

• Nathan Hall, Texas Tech University- “Food and Food-Odor Preference in Dogs”

• Ta-Hsuan Ong, Massachusetts Institute of Technology- “Supporting Explosive Detection Training with the Help of a Real-Time Trace Vapor Detection Mass Spectrometer”

• Kimberly Peranich, Office of Naval Research- “Evaluation of Generalization-Discrimination Balance for Detection Canines”

• Franck Peron, Diana Pet Food- “Happiness is in the Bowl! Emotional Positive Arousal in Dogs Tasting Different Products”

• Rebecca Trisko, Unleashed in Evanston- “Complexity in Dog-Dog Social Relationships- Part 1”

• Barbara Smuts, University of Michigan- “Complexity in Dog-Dog Social Relationships- Part 2”

• Giulla Cimarelli, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna- “Intraspecific Social Relationships in Dogs and Wolves: The Mediatory Role of Formal Dominance and Affiliation”

• Sarah-Elizabeth Byosiere, La Trobe University- “Investigating the Function of Play Bows in Dingo Puppies (Canis lupus dingo)

• Ludwig Huber, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna- “How Dogs Understand Us”


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Mark acquired a volume of scientific information pertinent to improving CPT’s training protocols and programs. He will use his experience at the Canine Science Conference when developing a new continuing education format for CPT’s training staff. In Mark’s opinion, “CPT’s training staff is already the most educated, knowledgeable, and talented in Atlanta. Yet, advanced proficiency regarding leading edge research in canine science and behavior will further distance CPT apart from the competition.”


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