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The Brain & Behavior Through life stages: Puppyhood, Adolescence, Adulthood, Senior

In this webinar we will learn about the key stages of brain development, the processes underlying them, factors influencing them and behavioral consequences. 

This webinar series is recorded and is suitable for veterinary professionals, animal trainers, animal behaviorists, shelter and rescue staff and volunteers, and anyone with an interest in evidence-based behavior intervention.
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6 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) Available:


In the first few months of life the brain develops at a phenomenal rate, with thousands of new neuronal connections being made every second. In this way the foundations are laid for later life learning, memory, health and behavior, and early life experience shapes the individual.

In this webinar we will learn about the key stages of brain development, the processes underlying them, factors influencing them and behavioral consequences. Understanding the neurobiology of development helps us plan our puppy care and training appropriately, and according to the puppies needs. We will also reflect on the impact of stress and trauma at this critical developmental stage, and how that can determine an individual's coping mechanisms in adulthood.


Ever wondered why a puppies behavior seems erratic during adolescence? Or why it is that they seem to have forgotten everything they've been learning up until that point?

The neurobiology of adolescence is fascinating, with some key events that alter both the structure and function of the brain. Understanding these processes gives us an understanding of, and greater compassion for, why and how behavior fluctuates at this life stage. We will consider what other neurophysiological changes are going on in the puppies body, such as hormonal changes, in order to better understand the influence that they have on the brain what the puppies care and training needs are at this key life stage.


Experience dependent plasticity (EDP) is the process by which new neuronal connections are made and organized throughout adulthood, in response to different environmental conditions, social interactions and training methods. In this webinar we discuss factors which impact EDP and how we as carers can influence brain health throughout life.


The brain undergoes many changes with ageing. In this webinar we will outline these changes to brain volume, neuronal structure, neurotransmitter production and the impact these changes have on learning, memory and behavior.

Importantly we will look at the link between health and behavior in aged dogs, when many individuals are dealing with chronic conditions such as arthritis, cardiac or endocrine disease. Advancing age is also the primary risk factor for Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (or dog dementia). Here we will discuss the risk factors for this important condition, and what we can do as carers to support brain function throughout the senior years.
Meet the instructor

Dr Kathy Murphy

Dr. Kathy Murphy (BVetMed, DPhil, CVA, CLAS, MRCVS) is a veterinary surgeon and neuroscientist. She graduated from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons UK in 1999, initially working in mixed clinical practice before studying for two post-graduate clinical qualifications, in Veterinary Anaesthesia (altered states of consciousness) and Analgesia (pain management) and Laboratory Animal Science.
She brings her passion for providing science communication
and evidence-based, up-to-date information to clinicians, animal professionals, and their clients.
Patrick Jones - Course author