Furry Feelings: the development of emotions and behaviour in cats and dogs

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British Shorthair cat and a Golden Retriever dog sitting together

This talk will explore the fascinating journey that shapes the behaviour and interactions of our beloved companion animals, from their early stages of life through to wise old age. We'll delve into the interplay between nature and nurture, exploring how genetics and environment play a role, and shed light on how emotions influence behaviour. By understanding their emotions and behavioural development, we can address challenges that arise across different life stages and better connect with and care for them, leading to enriched and fulfilling relationships.

Whether you're a devoted cat or dog guardian, an aspiring animal behaviourist, or simply curious about the inner world of cats and dogs, "Furry Feelings" will provide an enlightening exploration into the emotional lives of our four-legged friends.

About our speaker

Jenna Kiddie BSc (Hons) MSc PgCert (HE; G Dev Mgmt (Open) PhD

Head of Canine Behaviour, Dogs Trust

Dr Jenna Kiddie has a BSc (Hons) in Zoology, an MSc in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare, a PhD in the assessment of kennelled dog welfare, and Post Graduate Certificates in Learning and Teaching (Higher Education) and in Global Development Management.

She has been working in the field of companion animal behaviour and welfare for the past 18 years. Before joining Dogs Trust, Jenna held a senior lectureship at Anglia Ruskin University, was a teaching fellow at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, and worked as an Education Officer for the Scottish SPCA and as a Scientific Officer for the RSPCA. Jenna’s interest and expertise in clinical animal behaviour and shelter animal welfare developed during her time at Bristol Veterinary School, where she was a Senior Clinical Training Scholar in Cat Behaviour and Welfare, funded by Cats Protection.

As Head of Canine Behaviour at Dogs Trust, Jenna leads a team designing and delivering welfare-driven, evidence-based support for dog owners, animal behaviour and welfare students and those working with dogs professionally, and provides cross-directorial support to internal teams. She is also passionate about engaging with overseas governmental and non-governmental bodies and international public speaking. She also sits on a number of working groups, formed to address targeted areas of animal welfare and management, such as dog control.

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