Kerstin Kadletz

September 2013 – Jänner 2014
University Universität für Bodenkultur, Wien
Project at the WSC Food preferences and decision making in wolves and dogs
Favourite animal at the WSC Aragorn, Maisha

Animals have always been an important part of my life and I have always known that I want to work with them professionally.

My special interest are canides, therefore the WSC is a perfect place to combine work with passion.

Here at the WSC I am in charge of the "Food choice task test". I took over this experiment from Alexandra Wehnert, who had begun it, before I came to the WSC.

This expertment examines food preferences of wolves and dogs and consists of four different phases.

Step 1: The animals get aquainted with the apparatus, that delivers the food. If they touch the side with the food with their noses, they get the bite as a treat.

Step 2: I am invisible for the animals, so they have to choose the right side without my help. They climb to the next level after achieving the right result several times. 

Step 3: Wolves and dogs can choose between dry food and sausage for the first time.

When these levels have been gone through sucessfully, the actual test starts.

The aminals can choose between dry food, sausage, meat and chicken. During tests and trainings the animals need to wear a heart rate belt.

I have to know the exact amount of heart beats, so that I can understand the difficulties of their food choice decisions.

All tests and trainings are video recorded and coded  at the end of the experiments.

My studies here give me the opportunity of close contact with all animals at the WSC, which I really enjoy.It is thrilling to see how different in character wolves and dogs are.