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

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


December 22, 2023 - May 31, 2027    
12:00 am (ET)


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Event Type

On-Demand Webinar: Watch as soon as you register

Webinar Description

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 conducting 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?

Your Presenter – Shay Kelly

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

Please support this presenter’s business. They kindly donated the proceeds of this webinar to The Pet Training Science Alliance.


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