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Behaviour and Welfare Theme: Outline for Participants

    General Goals and Outcomes - all Themes: 
    By the conclusion of the 3rd IDHW participants should leave with a clear sense of key decisions on priorities / needs within the theme; remaining gaps/ challenges/ controversies; List of specific tasks/ actions to be undertaken over the next two years, by whom; and a clear understanding of how they, personally, will help achieve the desired outcomes.
    Please see: 3rd IDHW_Program Overview, Schedule, Themes and Speakers  for further information.



    Canine Behaviour And Welfare Theme
    •    Working Group Coordinator(s): Alexandre Balzer, Franc; Nathalie Marlois, France
    •    IPFD/SCC Steering Committee Liaison:  Gregoire Leroy; 
    •    Facilitator:  Patricia Olson, USA; Caroline Kisko, UK 
    •    Notetaker:  Kelly Arthur, USA



    Keys To The Behaviour And Welfare Theme
    The Theme will focus on what can be done during breeding decisions, early life and onward to address issues related to behaviour, health and welfare, in the context of current knowledge.  We are not yet able to fully quantify the roles of genetics vs. environment (physical and human (breeder, owner)), in general, and certainly not across all breeds.  However, many feel that an increased focus on behaviour/ mentality/ personality as part of a holistic approach to overall health, well-being and welfare is warranted.  Given this complex inter-relationship of dog and human factors, it is important to address this problem at a multi-stakeholder level and to identify the roles different groups and individuals.  Some of the keys we hope to address in the Behaviour and Welfare theme are:


    • What is the inter-relationship between health, welfare and behaviour in assessing the well-being of dogs?  (Introduced by plenary speaker Paula Boyden from Dogs Trust.)
    • Early socialization is an important issue with a lasting impact on behaviour and welfare:
      • What are the roles and responsibilities for authorities, breeders, cynological organizations, ethologists, geneticists, veterinarians and welfare organizations?
      • What are the greatest barriers, challenges and opportunities that can be addressed at an international level?  
      • How is this impacted by the source of puppies, i.e. the increasing proportion that are coming from commercial breeders who are unlikely to breed for good temperament or to provide adequate early socialization.


    Continue reading below or download PDF



    3rd IDHW Guide for Participants_Behaviour and Welfare_14April2017.docx


    Possible Questions for the Breakout Sessions: Behaviour and Welfare

    • Who is doing what and where... and what is making a difference? E.g.:
      • What are existing resources?  Programs/ guidelines/ recommendations/ regulations?  (Resources/ links will be posted on
      • What are similarities and differences across countries and regions?
      • What is known about breed-specific differences?
      • What tools/ plans are available to help achieve proper early life socialization?  Do we know how to measure the effectiveness of these interventions?  
    • What are the links between early socialization and later outcomes (e.g. dog behaviour, health and welfare; human-dog interactions)
      • Can we measure these effects?  What evaluation methods are available?
    • Early life environment (e.g. socialization, etc.) is impactful on subsequent behaviour and welfare.  
      • What are ‘best practices’ and how to we promote them among dog breeders?  
    • What actions can be pursued at the workshop and afterwards?  What is most important to be done at an international level? Are there other stakeholders who could be involved?


    Possible Specific Outcomes The Behaviour and Welfare Theme:
    Create working groups to:

    • Define best practices for early life socialization for breeders, veterinarians, others/ create a working group? Compile resources on
    • Develop/ identify specific resources and tools to support application of best practices.
    • Consider needs/ impact of commercial breeding?  Identify work to be done/ issues to be addressed prior to 4th IDHW?
    • Identify specific challenges or gaps in knowledge that might hinder application.
    • Identify persons, stakeholder groups, others should be engaged; sources of funding.



    Organisation of Breakout Session:
    Time frame (refer to 3rd International Dog Health Workshop Paris 2017: Program Schedule, Speakers and Breakout Themes):

    • To be accomplished before 1st Sharing session on Saturday at 16:05-17:45
      • Breakouts: 11:15 - 13:00 and 14:30-15:45 Saturday
        • Introduction 
          • Explain the background for the group and what tasks are required
          • Explain discussion format; facilitator’s role 
        • Short specific contributions; Nathalie Marlois; others.
        • Introductions from each member and brief info on what they/ their country is doing in this area.
        • Address questions; identify and prioritize issues; identify gaps; what are the current barriers to capturing and using Big Data on dogs.
    • To be accomplished before 2nd Sharing session on Sunday 10:45-13:00
      • Breakout: 08:30-10:15 Sunday
        • Identify specific actions; 
        • assign names to working groups or initiatives


Edited by Brenda Bonnett

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