Companion animal behaviour

We are interested in the question how personality traits of an individual pet affects its (not so) social behaviour and ability to perform specific tasks, and how the humans to whom a pet is attached play a role. The objective assessment of mental states (feelings) and the traits that govern behaviour is one of the major challenges in our ongoing work. Research results aid the understanding of how companion animals cope with man-made living conditions and how the latter may be optimized to improve companion animal welfare.

Our focus on dogs is, investigating personality traits, human-dog relationships and welfare. Research with cats focusses on welfare and motivation (wanting, liking), typically in relation to the appraisal of foods.