Hartpury College

The latest news and views from Hartpury

Animal and Land 26Apr 2016

Pooches’ personalities put to the test by Hartpury student

Pooches’ personalities put to the test by Hartpury student

A Hartpury student has been looking at what makes man’s best friend tick and presented her innovative study on canine personality at the prestigious Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour conference in Wales.

Lauren Branfield, currently studying an Honours degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare, has looked at the links between a dog’s personality and their ability to learn as part of her undergraduate dissertation.

Measuring dog personality using the Monash Canine Personality questionnaire, the Hartpury student put a range of dogs through two cognitive tests.

Lauren said: “The tests included getting them to find a ball hidden behind an obstacle, which tested whether they understood the permanence of objects – something humans develop as toddlers. In the other test, they had to manipulate a bottle to release a food reward.

“I measured the time it took for the dogs to solve the problem, how quickly they improved through practice and how engaged they were when trying to solve the puzzles.”

Lauren, who was supervised by Hartpury lecturer Carrie Ijichi, found that the emotional stability of the animal was linked with learning ability, with the most stable performing the best in the tests, while the personality factor ‘motivation’ was linked with how engaged the dogs were when trying to solve the food test.

The 22-year-old’s poster presentation on her research impressed a number of delegates at the conference, especially as she was one of very few undergraduate students presenting work alongside Masters and PhD candidates. She also gave an interview with BBC Radio Wales ‘Science Café’ about her study.

18 Oct 2016 Animal and Land

No more tilling – it’s time for direct drilling at Hartpury!

Hartpury Agriculture students had their eyes opened to an alternative approach to sowing the seeds of the future.

17 Oct 2016 Animal and Land

Brexit and beyond –student farmers consider the future of agriculture outside the EU

Hartpury’s student farmers of the future weighed in on the debate and discussions surrounding agriculture in post-Brexit Britain during a talk with local experts.


11 Oct 2016 Animal and Land

Does a harness help make a happy dog? Hartpury research team investigates

What’s the best way to walk your dog? A team of Hartpury researchers have been comparing collars to harnesses to investigate the impact on canine behaviour and comfort.


11 Oct 2016 Animal and Land

Unlocking the secrets of the soil: new technology helps Hartpury’s agricultural innovators dig deep into future of farming

Agricultural technicians have been digging deep on Hartpury’s farms to scan the fields and map the soils; using state of the art technology to ensure that the College can make the most of every inch of the land.