Canine Ergonomics: The Science of Working Dogs, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Canine Ergonomics

The Science of Working Dogs, 1st Edition

Edited by William S. Helton

CRC Press

366 pages | 74 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2009-04-28
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Since Canis lupus familiaris first shared a fire with man more than 15,000 years ago, dogs have been trusted and valued coworkers. Yet the relatively new field of canine ergonomics is just beginning to unravel the secrets of this collaboration. As with many new fields, the literature on working dogs is scattered across several non-overlapping disciplines from forensics and the life sciences to medicine, security, and wildlife biology. Canine Ergonomics: The Science of Working Dogs draws together related research from different fields into an interdisciplinary resource of science-based information.

Providing a complete overview, from physiology to cognition, this is the first book to discuss working dogs from a scientific perspective. It covers a wide range of current and potential tasks, explores ergonomic and cognitive aspects of these tasks, and covers personality traits and behavioral assessments of working dogs. A quick look at the chapters, contributed by experts from across the globe and across the multidisciplinary spectrum, illustrates the breadth and depth of information available in this book.

Traditionally, information concerning working dogs is mostly hearsay, with the exchange of information informal at best and non-existent at worst. Most books available are too general in coverage or conversely, too specific. They explain how to train a service dog or train a dog to track, based on training lore rather than empirical methods verified with rigorous scientific standards. This book, drawing on cutting edge research, unifies different perspectives into one global science: Canine Ergonomics.

Table of Contents

Canine Ergonomics: Introduction to the New Science of Working Dogs, W.S. Helton

Skill and Expertise in Working Dogs: A Cognitive Science Perspective, W.S. Helton, P.J. Feltovich, and A.J. Velkey

Social Learning in Dogs, P. Pongrácz

Temperament and Personality in Working Dogs, L.T. Graham and S.D. Gosling

Overview of Scent Detection Work: Issues and Opportunities, W.S. Helton

Evaluating Learning Tasks Commonly Applied in Detection Dog Training, L. Lit

Attention in Dogs: Sustained Attention in Mine Detection as Case Study, W.S. Helton

Olfaction and Explosives Detector Dogs, A. Goldblatt, I. Gazit, and J. Terkel

Conservation Dogs, A. Hurt and D.A. Smith

Working Dogs: The Last Line of Defense for Preventing Dispersal of Brown Treesnakes from Guam, D.S. Vice, R.M. Engeman, M.A. Hall, and C.S. Clark

Canine Augmentation Technology for Urban Search and Rescue, A. Ferworn

Physiological Demands and Adaptations of Working Dogs,M.S. Davis

Physical and Mental Stress of SAR Dogs During Search Work, M. Schneider and L. Slotta-Bachmayr

Signs of Physiological Stress in Dogs Performing AAA/T Work, D. Haubenhofer

Benefits of Animal Contact and Assistance Dogs for Individuals with Disabilities, N. Sachs-Ericsson and N.H. Merbitz

Conclusion: Working Dogs and the Future, W.S. Helton

About the Editor

William S. Helton is currently senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Canterbury and associate professor in the Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences at Michigan Technological University. He received his B.A. in Philosophy and Mathematics from Evergreen State College in 1995, his M.A. in Psychology from the University of Cinncinnati in 1998, and his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Cincinnati in 2002. His research focuses on expertise and attention in dogs and humans. His research has been published in Acta Pscyhologica, Animal Cognition, the British Journal of Psychology, the Journal of Experimental Psychology, the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, and numerous other publications.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Forensic Science
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Health & Safety