Strengthening our bond to improve animals' lives

Are Caribbean Island Dogs Different From North American Dogs?

With Guest Chatters Drs. Emma Grigg and Belle Nibblett

For those of us living in middle class America, our perception of what dogs are like is colored by what we see and know of the animals around us. But there are dogs all over the world that live in very different environments and have different relationships with people. How different are those dogs from the ones we are familiar with?  And are those dogs derived from more ancient genetic lineages than American dogs?

In this month’s CAABChat we welcome back Dr. Emma Grigg and her colleague Dr. Belle Nibblett to talk about their research on the island dogs of the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. Drs. Grigg and Nibblett, along with their co-researchers, looked at the behavior and genetics of a sample of these animals native to St. Kitts and compared them with owned dogs from North America. The doctors will tell us what they found and what it means for our understanding of the origins of these animals and of the behavior of all dogs.

We’ll also try to address other questions about the lifestyles, behavior and welfare of dogs living outside the traditional American home.  How representative are our North American pets of all the dogs on the planet?  What is life like for most dogs around the world and how do they typically live with people? Do our North American pets represent the elite of all dogs in health and well-being?  We often hear that we need to “let dogs be dogs.”  What can studies of island and village dogs around the world tell us about what dogs need “to be dogs”?

Join us for this very interesting look at some dogs that are different from the ones most of us know.

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CAABChats are professional discussions among Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists (and occasionally invited others) about timely, useful, controversial and foundational topics in the field of pet behavior and training.  You’ll gain insights and information that will change and broaden your thinking and your approach to training and behavior.   Think of CAAB Chats as a more “up close and personal” version of panel discussions at conferences.

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Carolyn Lincoln, DVM
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