Shaping Inter-Species Connectedness
This interdisciplinary project aims to investigate different forms of human-animal connectedness and the ways in which they are shaped by different training cultures.
We focus on dog training as a particular example and we look at five cases:
- police dogs
- gun dogs
- guide dogs
- companion dogs
- therapy dog’s training
The project is interdisciplinary, combining expertise from the social sciences and animal sciences and it explores different training practices, the effects they have on dog-human relationships and on the welfare of human and animal participants.
We ask whether training practices contribute to the emergence of new, post-human forms of human-animal relations. The research uses an innovative methodology, combining social and natural scientific approaches, and puts into practice a pioneering way of assessing animals’ emotional state.
The project is a collaboration between the University of Warwick, Cardiff University and SRUC-Edinburgh.
The project team organised a session at the Annual Royal Geographical Society–Institute of British Geographers conference in Cardiff on 30 August 2018, entitled ‘Interspecies relatings: the emergence of new forms of human-animal engagement’.
This session explored the emergence of new understandings of human-animal engagement and the possibilities they present for the development of different and less exploitative forms of inter-species relating. The discussion is located in the expanding landscape of less human-centred relations between human and non-human animals and the shift away from anthropocentric strategies of domination and exploitation towards more empathetic, respectful and inter-agentic relationships.
The team presented the paper:
‘Changing dimensions of power: an exploration of dog training cultures in the UK’ (Nickie Charles, Mara Miele, Harriet Smith and Rebekah Fox),
Professor Gail Davies, Exeter University, acted as discussant.
Tîm y prosiect
This research was made possible through the support of the following organisations: