Speakers 2019

  • Using behavioural tests for the assessment of personality in dogs

    Kenth Svartberg PhD.

    Kenth reached his PhD in Zoology at the Stockholm University in 2003 with his thesis on dog personality, which was based on his studies on individual differences in dogs’ test behaviour. After that, he worked at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) with behavioural studies on dogs, foxes and goats. Besides the thesis, Kenth has published a handful of scientific articles. Today, Kenth is working as a consultant and an educator in a family-owned company. One of the projects he has been involved in is in the development of a new dog behavioural test for the Swedish Kennel Club called Behavioural and Personality Assessment for dogs (BPH). Besides that, he has a role as an external resource at the Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry, SLU. As such, he is involved in scientific projects regarding individual differences in dog behaviour. Outside work, Kenth is a devoted dog owner living in a multi-dog household with his family. His main hobby interest is the process of learning and how dogs’ cognitive abilities can be used in dog training. 

  • Canine temperament – assessment and heritability: Temperament and EBVs

    Professor Erling Strandberg

    Erling Strandberg is professor in animal breeding and genetics at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Uppsala. His research has involved quantitative genetics in several species, but with main focus on dairy cattle and dogs. In dogs, he has worked both with developing genetic evaluation for hip and elbow dysplasia and with genetic characterization of behavior traits, based on the available temperament assessments in Sweden.


  • Testing dogs for behaviour in Sweden - from phenotypic screening of German shepherds for suitability to be trained for military service to molecular genetics of behavioural variations in almost any dog

    Åke Hedhammar DVM, M Sc, PhD.

    Åke Hedhammar DVM, M Sc, PhD is senior Professor in Internal Medicine – Small Animals and Dipl. in Internal Medicine –CA. His research is on the epidemiology and genomics of spontaneously occurring complex traits in dogs (diseases and behavior) and their use as models for human medicine.  He is a scientific advisor and veterinary consultant to the Swedish Kennel Club.  Dr. Hedhammar was actively involved in training and testing of dogs during in the 1960s and in the validation of testing at the Armed Forces during the 1970s.  He was the initiator of The Dog DNA  group at SLU and UU, and of the Swedish Dog Genetics group and The National Canine Biobank.

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

    Arthur E. Dunham PhD.

    Arthur Dunham, PhD, is Professor of Biology at the University of Pennsylvania, where his focus is biostatistics, artificial neural networks, population level modeling for environmental and performance outcomes, and individual based models.  His research interests have ranged from climate change to working dogs.  He has served on the US DoD Blue Ribbon Panel for Canine-Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD).  His interest in working dogs stems from his interest in statistical rigor and ensuring that we actually know what we think we do.

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

    Professor Elinor Karlsson

    Professor Karlsson is a professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and director of Vertebrate Genomics at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Her research uses ancient signals of evolution to find DNA changes that affect health and behavior. She has a focus on canine genetics, through her citizen-science Darwin’s Ark project and the Working Dog Project, a open data initiative to find genetic factors contributing to working dog success. She received her B.A. from Rice University, her Ph.D. from Boston University, and was postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University before starting her research group in 2014.


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

    Professor Frode Lingaas, DVM, PhD,

    Professor Lingaas is head of Section of medical genetics at the Veterinary faculty, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, in Oslo and has the responsibility for research and teaching of veterinary students in medical genetics. He has a close collaboration with a number of breed clubs and organizations to record diseases and improve health and welfare in dogs.  He is involved in genetic mapping of mutations and variants associated with a number simple and complex inherited diseases as well as behavioral traits in dogs.

  • Odour generalisation - theory and practice

    Adee Schoon Ph.D

    Adee Schoon began her work with police human scent dogs in the Netherlands in 1991 and obtained her PhD in 1997. Since then, her work has included research projects in explosive, drug, human remains, corrosion, cancer and wildlife detection, puppy selection and training programs, and teaching about odours, scent perception, learning and training. She publishes regularly and participates in a number of international governmental working groups/organizations on detection dogs. In 2010, she left Leiden University and started Animal Detection Consultancy, with a mission to use, improve and expand the olfactory detection capabilities of animal/handler teams through focused research, training and advice, primarily in the field of human security and welfare.