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Program 2019

Program announcement (Download here)

Monday, May 13, 2019
Time Speaker Lecture
11:30am - 11:45am

N. Rooney

Measuring, and determining factors affecting performance of glycemic alert dogs

Sunday, September 1, 2019
Time Speaker Lecture
04:00pm - 08:00pm

Registration and poster placement

Monday, September 2, 2019
Time Speaker Lecture

Focal topic: Testing and assessing dogs: choosing a task-specific dog

07:00am - 08:45am

Registration

08:45am - 09:00am

Welcome

09:00am - 10:00am

Erling Strandberg PhD SKK and Kenth Svartberg, PhD

Canine temperament – assessment and heritability

Flag of Sweden  Using behavioural tests for the assessment of personality in dogs

Kenth Svartberg, PhD

Research on dog behaviour during the last decades indicates the existence of stable traits in dogs, which has been referred to as temperament or personality traits. Knowledge of personality in dogs have relevance in several areas, from predicting behavioural problems in pet dogs to selection of suitable working dogs. Since many of the revealed traits seem to be genetically influenced, such knowledge can be of great importance in behaviorally based dog breeding. In many cases, dog personality traits seem to be detectable by the use of behavioural tests. In this talk I will share my experiences from general tests such as the Dog Mentality Assessment (DMA) and the more recently developed test Behaviour and Personality Assessment for Dogs (BPH). A number of factors decide the usefulness of data collected in behavioural tests. Aspects such as purpose, feasibility, standardization, reliability and validity are important for the quality of the test. One key point is the behavioural measurement method. Clear definitions of the measured behavior, sound scales and repeated measurements of the underlying traits are of importance. Results from analyzes of data from the DMA and BPH give us insights into some aspects of dog personality. These will be discussed more generally, and reflections will be made regarding differences and similarities of the personality in pet dogs and working dogs.

Temperament and EBV.

10:00am - 10:30am

Åke Hedhammar DVM PhD

Flag of Sweden  Testing dogs for behaviour in Sweden

From phenotypic screening of individuals for suitability to be trained for military service to molecular genetics of behavioural variations in almost any dog.

It all started by the need to predict outcome a working dog purchased or bred to be trained for military service. Military personnel Axel Paulson and Hilmer Johansson developed a testing scheme to be applied on German Shepherds they were intending to train for military service. The test was secondarily also used for selection of breeding stock in their breeding program. It was later also used for other purposes (e.g police dogs and guide dogs for the blind) and other breeds (e.g., Labrador retrievers). That test is now the basis for current testing (L-tests) of dogs suitable for military service, police and guide dogs.

For further development of the test, ethologists were involved. Work by Kent Svartberg and Erik Wilson are good examples of the scientific validation and analyses performed. The original test was also adopted for testing of first privately owned German shepherds, later also working dogs of other breeds and eventually any breed (Dog Mentality Assessment, DMA) For the later purpose it has recently been further revised to serve a wider range of behaviours and breeds (BPH) 

For privately owned dogs it has mostly been seen as a tool for selection of breeding stock. Extensive studies on the heritability have proven its value especially when applied with EBV as presented by Erling Strandberg.

By access to samples from DMA-tested dogs we are now revealing the molecular genetics of behaviour traits. This is done primarily not for testing, but rather for understanding the mechanisms behind variations of behaviour traits in working dogs as well as in other dogs.

10:30am - 11:00am

Coffee/Posters

11:00am - 11:15am

Doc Loc Mai (Jimmy)

 Flag of Australia  What helps and what hinders assistance dog puppy-raising practices.

Most puppies being raised as potential assistance dogs spend their time living and learning with a volunteer raiser during their first year of life, a critical period for their physical and psychological development. After this puppy raising stage, up to half of all assistance dog puppies fail to graduate to work in an assistance role. Many factors contribute to the high failure rates, but little is known about what helps and what hinders a puppy raiser to educate a puppy to the highest quality. To investigate this issue, seventeen interviews were conducted with puppy raisers and staff responsible for overseeing puppy raising programmes in different countries. The data was analysed thematically, suggesting that various factors affect raisers’ competency and engagement in optimal puppy raising practices.  These factors are categorised as intrapersonal (expectations, sense of achievement, patterns of acquiring new knowledge and skills, and willingness to push through difficulties), interpersonal (interactions with staff, fellow puppy raisers, and those in their professional and personal networks), and organisational (different types and methods of delivering support and training). Recommendations for organisations and individuals engaged in puppy raising will be presented.

Doc Loc Mai (Jimmy)

Click for biography.

11:15am - 11:30am

W. Baltzer

Working Dog Centre: Working hard for working dogs.

11:30am - 11:45am

B. Kennedy

Maternal style: How early experiences are associated with future outcomes of assistance dogs.

11:45am - 12:00pm

B. Soares DVM

Hyper-reactivity in military working dogs: a report of two cases

12:00pm - 12:15pm

K. Overall

Referential focus pet & working dogs

12:15pm - 12:30pm

V. Marinesciu PhD

Genome-wide association studies to identify loci and variants associated with behavioral traits in dogs

12:30pm - 02:00pm

Lunch and networking

02:00pm - 03:30pm

Interactive session:  Temperament testing in Sweden - videos, virtual demonstration and testing and audience participation and discussion

03:30pm - 04:00pm

Coffee/Posters

04:00pm - 05:00pm

Kenth Svartberg, Åke Hedhammar

Interactive session evaluating temperament and use in estimated breeding values continued

07:00pm - 10:30pm

IWDBA Dinner

Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Time Speaker Lecture
08:45am - 09:00am

Welcome

09:00am - 10:00am

Art Dunham PhD

Statistics for working dogs – how do you know if your test/assessments are better than a coin toss?

10:00am - 10:30am

Adee Schoon PhD

 Flag of Netherlands  Odour generalisation – theory and practice

When training detection dogs, trainers usually only have a limited number of training aids available. At best, the training aids meet specific pre-set standards and are refreshed regularly, but many trainers, particularly private ones and those from smaller organizations, have to make do with less. And even if the training aids meet these criteria, are they sufficient to fully train detection dogs?

A number of recent papers have concluded that this is not the case. Trainers have taken for granted that dogs generalize easily and spontaneously, using the ‘pizza’ analogy. They assume that once trained, dogs will be able to detect all items that smell ‘similarly’ to what they have been trained on. But tested in a proper manner, very few of these assumptions hold up.

Happily there have also been studies to show that with proper training, dogs become better. Although dogs do not often generalize to other odours spontaneously, they can be taught to develop a wider odour concept to respond to. And different studies have shown different methods and ‘tricks’ to achieve this.

Integrating these methods and specific checks into a training plan makes it possible to monitor the development of this process during training. And it is easy to do, once you think it through and perform systematic monitoring. This paper will describe key elements in such a plan that can be tailored to fit specific missions.

10:30am - 11:00am

Coffee/Posters

11:00am - 11:15am

L. De Greeff

The chemistry of odor:  How understanding odor can foster better detection.

11:00am - 12:30pm

Focal topic: Olfaction and other relevant senses

11:15am - 11:30am

A. Concha

Effect of Impulsivity on olfactory detection performance in Military Working Dogs.

11:30am - 11:45am

N. Rooney

Measuring, and determining factors affecting performance of glycemic alert dogs

11:45am - 12:00pm

K. Tiira

The efficacy and limits of detection in Finnish accelerant detection canines

12:00pm - 12:15pm

V. Ratcliffe

Putting working dog research into practice - development of science-based guidance notes

12:15pm - 12:30pm

C. Otto

The opioid crisis and working dogs

12:30pm - 02:00pm

Lunch and networking

02:00pm - 03:30pm

Interactive session I:

Virtual and hands on session on tracking in an urban environment

TBD – may become a research presentation session depending on availability

03:30pm - 04:00pm

Coffee/Posters

04:00pm - 05:00pm

Esther Schalke, DVM, PhD, Hans Ebbers, Polizei Hauptkommissar

Interactive session II Demonstration of alternate ways to teach behaviors used in police and detection dog training.

05:00pm - 07:00pm

Poster session – Research presentations

Heavy hors d'oevres and drinks sponsored by Orion, Finland

Wednesday, September 4, 2019
Time Speaker Lecture
08:00am - 09:00am

Esther Schalke, DVM, PhD, Hans Ebbers, Polizei Hauptkommissar and Swedish AF – clicker training

Breakout 1: Protection work: Lecture and demo

08:00am - 09:00am

Karen Overall, VMD, PhD, DACVB/ Maj. Marty Roache, DVM/ Maj. Desireé Broach MS, DVM, DACVB

Breakout 2: Low stress/no distress approaches to cooperative husbandry and veterinary care of working dogs (do it faster, better, safer): Lecture, video, demo, hands-on (SAF and Schalke /Ebbers’)

08:00am - 09:00am

Eldin Leighton PhD and Jane Russenberger

Breakout 3: IWDR I (beginner) workshop (must bring laptop)

09:30am - 10:00am

Coffee/Posters

10:00am - 11:30am

Hannes Slabbert (Invictus Canines)

Breakout 4: New uses for detection dogs -medical concerns (diabetes, cancer, seizure disorders) and  wildlife detection and protection:  Lectures/demos/ videos

10:00am - 11:30am

Led by Dr. Kelly Mann and Dr. Bess Pierce

Breakout 5: Nutrition and medical concerns for working dogs: Panel discussion

Interactive Q & A from audience

10:00am - 11:30am

Eldin Leighton PhD and Jane Russenberger

Breakout 6: IWDR II (advanced) workshop (must bring laptop)

11:30am - 01:00pm

Lunch

01:00pm

Tour of Swedish Kennel Club and Swedish Armed Forces facility in rotating small groups

07:00pm - 10:30pm

Gala Dinner

Thursday, September 5, 2019
Time Speaker Lecture
08:45am - 09:00am

Welcome

09:00am - 10:00am

Elinor Karlsson PhD

Improving the performance and health of all working dogs through large-scale, collaborative genetics

10:00am - 10:30am

Frode Lingaas DVM PhD

Genetic approaches to behavioral concerns in working dogs and family owned dogs

10:30am - 11:00am

Coffee/Posters

11:00am - 12:30pm

Focal topic: Genetics and health related topics

11:00am - 11:15am

P. Waggoner

Building a better detector dog: Lessons learned and (many) questions remaining to be explored

11:15am - 11:30am

B. Pierce

Neuromotor development in puppies: what does it mean for athletic training and conditioning?

11:30am - 11:45am

A. Henderson

Evaluation of a fitness assessment and conditioning program in a military working dog

11:45am - 12:00pm

D. Broach

 Flag of United States  Commitment over compliance-changing strategies in working dog teams

 

A culture shift is occurring in the veterinary community, emphasizing the patient-centered approach with handling and care administered. The military veterinary community has not been impervious to this shift, resulting in the mindset of “Commitment Over Compliance.” In essence, this means that the Handlers and Veterinary personnel understand the importance of using voluntary strategies during execution of working tasks and healthcare with Military Working Dogs (MWDs). As with human Soldiers, to build a trustworthy and resilient team, MWDs must be committed to their Handlers and their tasks. Compliance alone is not sufficient, because to maintain compliance in a highly kinetic combat environment, an MWD must also remain willing to comply. A committed MWD is bound to his duties and his Handler and will continue to follow his lead regardless of circumstances. The military veterinarian plays a critical part in sustaining and strengthening this commitment in the MWD. Sustainment of the trust between the MWD, Handler, and veterinarian is achieved by providing guidance on environmental management, enrichment, and husbandry, and utilizing cooperative care techniques. Through these guidelines and techniques, the veterinary team is additionally preparing the MWD for a successful transition into retirement when his service commitment is complete. This presentation provides a brief overview of the veterinary guidelines, training videos of cooperative care implementation, and case examples.

 

The views expressed in this presentation are the views of the presenter, and do not reflect the views or opinions of the Department of Defense or U.S. Government. The presenter has no financial or commercial affiliations or conflicts of interest to disclose.

 

MAJ Desireé Broach, MS, DVM, DACVB

(click to open bio)

12:00pm - 12:15pm

A. Bartels

Medical training of military working dogs

12:15pm - 12:30pm

J. Donner

Comprehensive genetic health screening in dogs: here to stay, way to go?

12:30pm - 02:00pm

Lunch and networking

02:00pm - 03:30pm

Led by Erik Wilsson, Karen Overall Eldin Leighton

Interactive session:  The problem of obtaining good dogs:  breeding, buying, and  crying -lecture plus round table plus contemporaneous online audience participation

03:30pm - 04:00pm

Coffee/Posters

04:00pm - 05:00pm

Led by Erik Wilsson (help from Karen Overall, Eldin Leighton)

Interactive session on obtaining good dogs continued

05:00pm

Cpl.Mark Althaus VC Australia

Plenary closing lecture