Dr. Robert Falconer-Taylor BVetMed, DipCABT, MRCVS.
Robert has worked in the veterinary profession for nearly 30 years, as a partner in an innovative small animal hospital group and as a locum. Alongside his role in day-to-day clinical medicine, Robert has also been very much involved in the management, communication, and education side of veterinary practice. During this time, he was directly involved in the conception and implementation of computerisation into the profession. This included a cross-fertilisation with the human healthcare system in the UK and the development of cross-platform coding and classification systems for disease identification, tracking and surveillance. This is now an integral part of the World Health Organisation’s One Health initiative.
Robert was also veterinary director and head of education of the Centre of Applied Pet Ethology (COAPE), the first organisation in the UK to develop government-regulated courses to degree level specifically in companion animal behaviour and training. COAPE also developed the renowned EMRA system used by behaviourists and trainers all over the world, now summarised in their book – EMRA Intelligence: The revolutionary new approach to treating behaviour problems in dogs.
He teaches and consults around the world along with writing for the veterinary and other professional press. He is also author of the informative PET CPD Blog, published on this website, which has been taken up and endorsed by many training and behaviour organisations all over the world. Robert is currently working on a book and on the development of a range of accessible online education resources for the companion animal community.
He is an international consultant to the pet industry where he has engaged in the development and risk assessment of pet ‘toys’ targeted specifically at promoting the welfare of pets and their relationships with their owners. He was also actively involved in the development of the ‘The Puppy Plan’, first launched in February 2012 and updated in 2014, a collaboration between Dogs Trust and the Kennel Club.
His current primary academic interests include companion animal cognitive science and emotionality, nutrition and its effects on behaviour, and applied neurophysiology, pharmacology, and therapeutics in companion animal behaviour therapy.
He promotes the idea wherever and whenever he can that – the key to better animal welfare is through education.
We make no apologies for this article being one-sided – that is – against the use of e-collars for training dogs. Furthermore, we challenge anyone who feels that the information presented here is overly bias against e-collars to produce equally robust research supporting the benefits of these devices in everyday dog training.
Visit any online forum dedicated to cats and dogs and it won’t be long before some member posts a comment about vaccination. It is a topic that never fails to open up passionate – and often heated – debate between those that ‘do’ and those that ‘do not’. Well, this article is not about the pros and cons of vaccination per se.
“It is disturbing indeed that changes of such magnitude can be proposed by a Government in a far-away country and instigated by a global organisation we have never heard of on our behalf and without our consent…”
2015 could be declared an import year for animals on several different fronts. One reason might be that in April, a New York judge made legal history by declaring that 2 chimpanzees were to be recognised as ‘Legal Persons’ – so-called habeas corpus (Bekoff, 2015).
An estimated 5,000 dogs drown in garden swimming pools in the USA every year (Petplace, 2014) and many others in rivers, lakes and the sea. This article highlights the importance for anyone using canine life jackets to understand how these jackets work and what their strengths and weaknesses are in order to choose the right device for their dog’s breed and lifestyle.