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Considering Consent in the Dog Human Relationship

The concept of canine consent, including its working components of assent, agency, and choice, are vital for the wellbeing of dogs and for building a strong, respectful and trusting relationship between dogs and humans. Looking beyond species boundaries can help us to apply these concepts in our everyday interactions with dogs, which is fundamental for any relationship to flourish.

This webinar will cover the canine-indexed definition of consent outlined in the book Constructing Canine Consent (written by webinar presenter Erin Jones, 2024) and how we can use this model to inform how we teach, learn from, and interact with dogs.
This definition includes a model of five major categories: Touch/interaction-based consent, cooperative care using learned consent behaviours, activity consent, consent-based learning, and substitutive consent.
You will learn about ways to better centre dogs, how to create a clear two-way communication system, integrate salient choices, and teach dogs about their ability to consent (or withdraw their consent). We will also discuss the evaluation of decision-making in extenuating circumstances where dogs cannot fully consent and how to ethically navigate these challenges.

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Meet the instructor

Dr Erin Jones

Erin Jones is a scholar, author, and applied behaviour consultant. She combines her applied practice as a certified dog trainer and certified dog behaviour consultant with a deeper academic background in how society treats dogs and the complexities and ethical dimensions of multispecies relationships. She holds a BSc. (Hons.) in psychology and anthropology from Trent University, Canada, an MSc. in anthrozoology from Canisius University, USA, a PhD in Human-Animal Studies from University of Canterbury- Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha (at the New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies), and a Pg.Dip. in Animal Welfare from Thompson Rivers University in Canada.
She also is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) with the Certification Counsel for Professional Dog Trainers, an Accredited Dog Trainer (ADT) and Certified Dog Behaviour Consultant (CDBC) with the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants. She works independently and contractually in several sectors of animal studies research, including topics beyond the dog-human relationship, including everything from ethical veganism to topics in critical animal studies. Erin operates Merit Dog Project, an educational platform used to educate and inspire industry professionals and front-line specialists working primarily with dogs/dog behaviour. She currently lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.
FB: @MeritDog
Patrick Jones - Course author
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