Nadine Gr0ß

Animal trainer-trainee


I have felt a deep connection to nature since my early childhood. Flora and fauna have cast a spell over me, but especially the wolves never lost their hold of me. During my school days I became even more interested in wolves. In addition to doing literature research, I visited the wolf pack of the Nationalpark Bayerischer Wald. The distinct social life and the communication of these predators captured my attention back then. Driven by my increasing interest, the topic “wolves” accompanied me on my life’s journey. When I was in school, I wrote my seminar paper about them. While doing my Bachelor’s Programme I wrote my bachelor’s thesis about a 12-headed Iberian wolf pack of the Lobo Park in Spain. In the course of this thesis, I could learn more about the communication, hierarchy signals, and pack dynamics of wolves. I also had the possibility to compare different wolf sub species with each other. Thanks to information evenings and discussions about the topic of wolves with communities and scientists alike, I was able to experience how the wolves’ return polarizes opinions first hand. Therefore, livestock protection and public relations became important topics for me as well.

In 2017 I started the Master’s Programme Biology with focus on Ecology and Evolution. I rounded it off with my master’s thesis at the WSC. I was overjoyed that I got the chance to join the WSC research team and to be able to contribute to the project “Emotion discrimination using the touch screen apparatus”. For this study we examined if the dogs and the wolves of the WSC, raised and kept under the same conditions, were able to discriminate different human facial expressions.

During my internship I have gotten the unique opportunity to start a traineeship as an animal trainer. Since then, I can count myself to the Trainer Trainees of the WSC. In this traineeship I see now an incomparable possibility to pursue my passion for wolves and my ever-expanding interest in working with dogs, and to fulfill myself. The work for and with the animals, informing and educating the visitors as well as assisting scientific projects are the perfect foundation for my dream job and allow me to combine my personal and professional interests. I am looking forward to learning from all of the experienced trainers of the WSC and to work and improve my relationship with the animals and my individual development as a person.