I’ve always been passionate about nonhuman animals and have shared my life with a variety of companions including cats, dogs, rabbits, gerbils and hamsters. I have also volunteered with several nonhuman animal charities and non-profit organisations. I have a BSc in Social Sciences and after studying several short courses in animal behaviour and ecology, I enrolled on the Masters in Anthrozoology with the University of Exeter and graduated in 2015 with Distinction. Not only was the MA in-keeping with my interests, but it allowed me to build on my social science background while researching human-animal interaction in depth. My dissertationinvestigated soldiers adopting street dogs in a war zone.
The working title of my PhD is A critical exploration of the factors which constitute and influence successful human-working dog relationships. Taking a mixed methods approach, my research will look at how human-working dog team relationships function and what contributes to their success. This may identify improvement opportunities for the dogs, the humans and the task outcome. The study will be based on an examination of human-working dog teams in mountain rescue, the police, and the fire service.