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If Behaviour’s The Answer, What’s The Question? Presented by Shay kelly

  • Saturday, December 02, 2023
  • 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
  • GoToWebinar


  • A member of Pet Professional Guild International Chapter Registration: The registration code can be found in your member's area on the PPG website.
    PPG Member Registration Sponsoring The Pet Training Science Alliance
  • PPG Member Registration Sponsoring The Pet Training Science Alliance
  • Public Registration Sponsoring The Pet Training Science Alliance


If Behaviour’s The Answer, What’s The Question? 

Presented by Shay Kelly

CEUs:  PPAB ,  CCPDT ,  KPA ,  IAABC &  PMCT  - Pending

A Webinar Sponsoring The Pet Training Science Alliance 

This webinar explores Tinbergen's four questions relating to the mechanism, survival value, development, and evolution of behaviour. During the webinar, we will ask whether these questions are still relevant and what other questions we should ask about behaviour.

About Tinbergen according to The University of Oxford.

In 1963 Niko Tinbergen published a seminal paper entitled ‘On the aims and methods of ethology’, which laid the foundation for how to conduct research in the fledging field of animal behaviour.

Tinbergen formulated four different, albeit somewhat interlinked, approaches to the study of animal behaviour, or four different types of questions we can ask about an observed behaviour

The four questions are:

1. Function (or adaption): Why is the animal performing the behaviour? How does the behaviour increase the animal’s fitness (i.e. its survival and reproduction)?

2. Evolution (or phylogeny): How did the behaviour evolve? How has natural selection modified the behaviour over evolutionary time?

3. Causation (or mechanism): What causes the behaviour to be performed? Which stimuli elicit or what physiological mechanisms cause the behaviour?

4. Development (or ontogeny): How has the behaviour developed during the individual's lifetime?

Learning Objectives 

  • The learner will be able to identify and evaluate distinct causes of behaviour, based on Tinbergen's four questions.
  • The learner will be able to consider further questions of behaviour.
  • The learner will be able to consider the relevance of Tinbergen's questions, in relation to modern-day canine behaviour assessment.

    About Your Presenter

    Shay Kelly is a behaviour consultant and author of three books. Canine Enrichment: the book your dog needs you to read, Dog Training & Behaviour: a guide for everyone, and Puppy Nurture: raising your puppy with love.

    Shay holds a Foundation degree in Applied Canine Behaviour & Training, Bachelor's degree in Canine Behaviour Management, and a Master's degree in Applied Animal Behaviour & Training. Shay has specific interests in enrichment and olfaction.

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