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Posts Tagged ‘animal training’

– contributed by CCHP graduate assistant Arianna Iliff.

Most of my coworkers here at the CCHP know that I am an animal lover, and that I’ll gladly show you pictures of my cats, Star and Nimbus, if you let me. In fact, I featured my favorite item in the collection in a previous blog post—a chalk drawing created by Molly Harrower portraying her own dearly adored cats. I do not always know why my pets do what they do—why they love playing with leaves but can’t hunt a stinkbug, for instance–which is why I am grateful for the work of John Paul Scott, an animal behaviorist who studied a variety of creatures, including goats, sheep, birds, and dogs.

In the collection, there is a huge variety of materials from Scott’s career, including his famous text Genetics and the Social Behavior of the Dog. Scott also maintained connections with a variety of breeding clubs for breeds such as the doberman, the yorkie, or the unique little creature called the telomian—considered to be a link between a basenji and a wild dingo. One article described these dogs as “The Missing Link With The Worried Look.”

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Who’s a scholastically relevant boy? Is it you? It’s you! Good boy!

You can also find memos and correspondence discussing new puppies and answering questions of dog behavior.

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“A spoiled, lovable, useless pet.” What more could a dog lover want?

Scott died in 2000 and was described with honor by Bowling Green State University. His relative obscurity to the mainstream is curious, given that so much of what we know about dog behavior is derived from his research. If nothing else, we certainly have a vast collection to speak of, with Scott’s wide-reaching discussions of animal psychology. Now, if only I could figure out why Nimbus is obsessed with my yoga mat?

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A four-month-old telomian. The reverse of this photo indicates her name is “Princess.” Precious!

 

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Contributed by Lizette R. Barton with plenty of media help from Jon Endres.

 

September is National Chicken Month.

Sure, it’s just a month co-opted by the chicken industry to get us all to go out and eat chicken but for me it is more than that. Chickens need a month to be celebrated – and not just for their delicious eggs, wings, breasts, legs, and thighs. And livers.

But also for their behavior, their ability to learn, their place in history of psychology and their general coolness.

Without further ado – chickens in the history psychology.

Eckhard Hess (1916-1986) worked with chickens. He used chickens as his subjects in his imprinting and visual perception research. I could watch those chicks in tiny helmets all day.

 

Richard Walk (1920-1999) and Eleanor Gibson (1910-2002) had a variety of animals and babies walk and crawl – or in this case strut – across the visual cliff.

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Richard D. Walk still images collection

 

Cora Friedline’s (1893-1975) Philosophy 13 class assignment,”The Mind of the Chicken,” is a staff favorite. The image below is just one page taken from her 20+ page report.

To quote Friedline, “It is my belief that we learn more by doing than by depending entirely upon books for our knowledge. Accordingly, when I selected the chicken as my subject, I decided I must have one. It was brought to me on Thanksgiving night, and proved to be a Plymouth Rock…whom I called Birdie….there was not a happier person in all of Lincoln than I was that night.”

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Cora L. Friedline papers, M259, folder 1

 

My search for “chicken” then led me to the William S. Verplanck  papers. Paul Mountjoy (1925-2001) asked to know more about “the chicken book” and Verplanck (1916-2002) obliged.

Hey! I know that book! Smith & Daniels “The Chicken Book” was one of the first books I picked up from the library when we decided to start raising chickens.

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William S. Verplanck papers, M1959, folder 9

 

Keller Breland, Marian Breland Bailey, Bob Bailey and their team worked with a variety of animals throughout the course of their careers at Animal Behavior Enterprises. They developed training techniques based on the psychological principles of positive reinforcement which have become the gold standard in animal training.

 

And they did some incredible work with chickens.

 

And finally, quite simply, chickens make really good friends.

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Lizette’s two-year-old son sharing snacks with a friend.

 

 

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