Learning About Animals was set up to provide information and promote interest in the welfare and behaviour of animals. The aim is to bridge the gap between professionals  & scientists working with animals and the public.

If you have any suggestions for future events, if you would like to be considered to be a speaker, or if you would like to get involved in helping at the events, or projects please get in touch.


Recent research  and links of interest

1. I recently published a series of short articles about horses  - read them all here

2. Brain training for dogs LINK

3. Impact of cats on wildlife LINK

4. New ethics committee for vets LINK

5. Animals make good decisions for food LINK

6. Rachel Casey defends shock collar ban on TV LINK

Imminent Events





















Sponsor a fun education session for children

I regularly run sessions for Brownies, Guides, Pony Club and similar groups. If you'd like to sponsor a session it would be greatly appreciated as then I can do more of them. £25 supports my expenses to attend and also money towards things like buying materials and developing the content. The groups usually run a collection for an animal charity – part of the Friends to Animals badge is to identify an issue and charity to support. The sessions aim to excite children about animals, to get them interested in and foster compassion towards them.

A lifetime of behaviour: exploring factors that can influence behaviour in animals from before birth to old age with Caroline Warnes. Details

Exploring ethical clicker training. Details

ts a dog’s life with Natalie Light. Details

More at the full website

"It seems that some owners do not fully understand what dogs find frightening and how our behaviour can impact on their welfare. Shouting, smacking and the use of choke chains, pinch collars, spray collars and electric shock collars can all cause fear and pain."

A long-awaited new report from the RSPCA includes information about modern day dog keeping and how it doesn't always meet the behavioural needs of dogs. Download the whole report from LINK

Horsey Expectations
(First posted on Facebook)












I have had a hugely varied set of horse behaviour consultations this week - the owners expecting and requiring wildly different things of their horses, all of them loving their horses very much. I often ponder that much of what we expect from horses goes against what horses really truly are, as individuals, and instead comes from a vision or perception of what we think horses could/should be to us. It is endlessly sad that so much of what we expect from horses is to their detriment and against the nature of their entire species. Just because we can, doesn't mean we should.

Humans dress up cruelty in equestrian culture as 'needed' and under the idea that the horses 'have a job that must be done to earn their keep' but what happens when we take a step back?.. when we look at our expectations from owning horses and see how much is what we want, and how much the horse would really want if they really had a choice. How much of how we keep them is truly for their benefit, and how much for our convenience or what we do due to received knowledge rather than thinking more deeply?

Sometimes thinking those questions through leads to unexpected realisations and modified goals, and can be part of a beautiful fulfilling journey. So this week I encourage you to take a deep breath, and think about what you expect from the animals in your life and how much of themselves they have to 'give' to fulfill your expectations - do you like the answer?

(P.S. The first picture was chosen as on first glance it is beautiful and could be said to truly capture the spirit of the horse but what do I see? I see questions - why is the horse rearing? a behaviour that rarely happens without human intervention. Was he/she trained to rear? How? Are the legs tucked in to avoid a swinging whip? Why is the rear so high? Yes we can train a horse to rear, it is easy to do so, but should we? For me this picture is more sinister than beautiful, the others are beautiful enough, horses being individual horses, we don't need the myths and magic or the falsely created postures, horses are amazing just the way they are.)

Make a difference - today

1. Feed the wild birds LINK.

2. Take 5 minutes to do something extra nice for your pet that you wouldn’t usually do.

3. Teach children to be kind to animals by buying them membership of an animal protection organisation

4. Give positive feedback on the next nice thing you see someone has written about animals.

5. Spread the word about what dogs want (share this link)

You may never know what results come from your actions, but if you do nothing, there will be no results" Gandhi

Good news stories

Brazilian children create brighter future

Seaworld attendance continues to decrease

Retiring farmer saves cows

Baby chimp rescued



  What effect can one person have? LINK

  Dog-friendly cinemas growing LINK

  Shark that can live for 272 years LINK

Copyright 2018 © Learningaboutanimals.co.uk

Newsletter – March 2018

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