What are we measuring? Novices agree amongst themselves (but not always with experts) in their assessment of dog behaviour

Short Synopsis: Researchers asked novices and working dog experts to evaluate 38 border patrol dogs in a standardized behavioral evaluation.

Lots of past dog behavior research is based on owners assessing their OWN dog’s behavior (novices assessing dogs). These studies, at times, disagree with evaluations published where experts evaluated the dogs.

The researchers found that novices tend to agree with each other, but not always with the expert, when assessing dog behavior.

So maybe part of the reason dog behavior research literature isn’t consistent is due to novices evaluating dog behavior for science.

Authors: Kirke L. Munch, Erik Wapstra, Scott Thomas, Michelle Fisher David L. Sinn

Publication: International Journal of Behavioral Biology: Ethology

Publication Date: Feb 15, 2019

Applies To: When papers disagree with each other

Sample Size: 38 dogs, 1 expert handler, 6 novice handlers.

Limitations/Drawbacks: What a small sample size!

Link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/eth.12846

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