This talk deals with the evolution and development of the dog and the basic aspects of dog behavior and its connection to genetics and comparison with human behaviour. A dog can learn to count, and to distinguish verbs from adjectives. It is clear that dogs understand humans much better than has believed before.
Per Jensen, Professor of Ethology, Linköping Universitry, is scientific leader of the AVIAN group, consisting of five principal investigators, and a total of about 35 people including technicians and master students. The research of his own lab within the AVIAN group is focused on genomic aspects on welfare and behaviour, where domestication related effects form a central framework. Chickens and dogs are the main models for this. In our hatchery (Kruijt) and experimental chicken house (Wood-Gush), we keep two different populations of red junglefowl, a model laying strain, and various crosses between these animals. We cooperate with the Swedish Defence Forces to study their dog breeding program, and also use companion dogs and the standardised behaviour tests common in Sweden. This is combined with molecular methods to find the genetic basis for various behaviour affected by domestication, such as social behaviour, learning and stress reactions.