Julia Jenikejew

October 2012 - March 2013

I investigate in my project, whether dogs and wolves are able to count.  Already before I came to the WSC I arranged the terms of my project - Numerical Competence in dogs - with Friederike Range. What sounds at first a littel confusing is at last very simple: how do dogs perceive quantities and in which way do they differentiate between them? Are there differences to wolves and if yes, which ones? The project is still in the training phase and the trainers eagerly teach our animals how to buzz - because in the actual tests lateron they have to choose the right (= larger) quantity of food morsels by buzzing, just like in a quiz show!

I am student in the first term of my master study and perform an extern research modul here at the Wolf Science Center – i.e. a kind of internship with an own project, for which I will get a grading at the end, which will be considered in my study.

Already rather at the beginning of my biology study I realized, that I was keen on behavioural biology in particular - work and research with real animals, in touch with them and not under the microscope. Therefore it was also clear, that I would write ma bachelor thesis in the field of etholoy, which I then did in summer 2012. Therefore I worked with 20 days old guinea pigs and investigated their behaviour and their reaction to stress. In addition I made some thought about my further progress of my study . In any case I wanted to make an internship during the master, preferring the work with large mammals. By a series of coincidences I heard from a cousin of a trainer at the WSC and knew immediately - THAT's it. Quickly applcated and thank goodness accepted and at the end of October ready to go.

Something I like especially at the WSC is the fact to get acquainted with a completely new relationship to dogs and in particular to wolves. I the concept of the animal/man-together and their cooperation simply great and it's really fascinationg, what has been already achieved by that! For what looks at the first sight to be playfull and easy is in real heavy going for trainers and animals.

… Based on the typical classification of rather "dog- or cat-person", I previously was more the cat-person and was always interested in big cats. Meanwhile I realize, that this has totally changed and by the direct contadt the animals of the WSC grew very dear to my heart - I even do not know any more, how it feels without dogs and wolves round the clock! It's good, that it takes still some time until march 2013.