Rachel A. Casey

Rachel A. Casey
Dogs Trust · Canine Behaviour and Research

BVMS PhD DipECAWBM(BM) DipECAWBM(AWSEL) MRCVS

About

122
Publications
71,036
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2,301
Citations
Additional affiliations
May 2003 - June 2016
University of Bristol
Position
  • Lecturer

Publications

Publications (122)
Article
Full-text available
With an estimated 12. 5 million dogs in the UK alone, many people acquire a dog at some point during their lives. However, there are gaps in understanding about why UK owners decide to get dogs. Using a mixed-methods convergent design, this study identified the reasoning behind dog acquisition in a sample of UK current and prospective owners. An on...
Article
Full-text available
Background: This study explored dog owners' concerns and experiences related to accessing veterinary healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Data were obtained through two cross-sectional owner-completed surveys conducted in May (first nationwide lockdown) and October 2020 and owner-completed diaries (April-November 2020). Diaries and...
Article
Regular exercise for dogs has health and welfare benefits. This study sought to address a gap in existing research regarding what constitutes ‘common’ age-specific walking practices (a common form of exercise adopted by dog owners) by owners of young dogs, and how these practices change as the dogs reach adulthood. Dog owners living in the United Ki...
Poster
Full-text available
In the UK, approximately 7% of households own both cats and dogs. Although these two species can live together amicably, inter-species conflict can result in injury, poor welfare and/or relinquishment. There is little evidence to support recommendations regarding how best to manage household cat-dog introductions. Hence, data collected from dog own...
Article
Full-text available
Dogs play an important role in many western societies, providing companionship, emotional support, and assistance, as well as other more specialist roles. The literature reveals that many human–animal interaction (HAI) questionnaires exist to measure the human–dog bond (HDB). The first part of this study assessed how far existing questionnaires wen...
Poster
Full-text available
Background: This study explored dog owners’ concerns and experiences related to accessing veterinary healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Data were obtained through two cross-sectional owner-completed surveys conducted in May (first nationwide lockdown) and October 2020 and owner-completed diaries (April-November 2020). Diaries and rel...
Article
Full-text available
Separation-related behaviours (SRBs), including but not limited to vocalisation, pacing, destruction and toileting, occur in the absence of human company. As well as being problematic for the dogs’ owners, such behaviours indicate that the dogs’ emotional state is compromised. As part of the COVID-19 pandemic, time spent alone decreased considerabl...
Article
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Background: Surgical neutering of dogs is common, however the average age that dogs reach sexual maturity, are neutered, and dog owners’ attitudes to neutering in the UK and the Republic of Ireland have not been explored in a longitudinal study. Methods: Owner-reported data on the timing of the first oestrus, timing of neutering and the reasons g...
Article
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Domestic dogs are trained using a range of different methods, broadly categorised as reward based (positive reinforcement/negative punishment) and aversive based (positive punishment/negative reinforcement). Previous research has suggested associations between use of positive punishment-based techniques and undesired behaviours, but there is little...
Poster
The Generation Pup study is an ongoing project designed to identify associations between early-life environment, genotype and health and behaviour outcomes at different life stages of registered dogs. Modifiable risk factors can then be targeted to improve the health and welfare of dogs in the future. Owners living in the United Kingdom or Republic...
Article
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The majority of owners use rewards (e.g. treats and praise) when training their dogs. However, many additionally use aversive methods (e.g. physical reprimands, sound/spray distractions) which can compromise the welfare of dogs. The aim of this study was to identify factors associated with owner-reported use of aversive training methods. A study wa...
Poster
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Attending dog training classes has been associated with improved dog trainability and an increase in engagement in shared activities with the owner which may strengthen the dog-owner bond. Dogs Trust, a UK based dog welfare charity, recommends that new owners of dogs adopted from rehoming centres attend a bespoke training course (Dogs Trust Dog Sc...
Presentation
Regular walking has welfare and health benefits for dogs and owners. Insufficient exercise may contribute to a range of behavioural/health issues. There are limited data on what is ‘normal’ walking practice and how this changes with dog age. This study summarises walk frequency and duration for dogs participating in an ongoing longitudinal study, b...
Article
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Periodontal disease is one of the most common conditions affecting dogs worldwide and is reported to be particularly prevalent in racing greyhounds. A range of potential risk factors have been hypothesised. Previous research has suggested that regular tooth brushing can reduce both calculus and gingivitis, but the frequency required is unclear. Her...
Article
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Although agonistic interactions between cats are often regarded clinically as a source of stress, there is currently limited research evidence regarding the welfare impact of keeping multiple cats as pets. The aim of this study was to compare welfare indicators between cats living in domestic single and multi-cat households, as well as between mult...
Presentation
This study investigated if autocoprophagia was retained as puppies aged, and, for puppies displaying the behaviour at age 16-weeks, if owner response was associated with the occurrence of autocoprophagia at 7-months.
Article
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The prevalence and cooccurrence of pica towards different target materials were investigated using prospective data from three questionnaires completed by owners participating in a longitudinal study of UK pet cats. Pica towards one or more material types was reported in 42.9% (229/534), 32.0% (171/534), and 30.9% (165/534) of cats aged approximate...
Article
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Understanding the factors that result in people becoming dog owners is key to developing messaging around responsible acquisition and providing appropriate support for prospective owners to ensure a strong dog–owner bond and optimise dog welfare. This qualitative study investigated factors that influence pet dog acquisition. Semi-structured intervi...
Article
Full-text available
On 23 March 2020, the UK Government imposed a nationwide lockdown as part of efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. This study aimed to explore how the experience of dog ownership in the UK was impacted during this lockdown. Data for this research came from open-ended survey questions and an electronic diary completed by members of the general...
Article
Full-text available
Background Despite extensive research, many questions remain unanswered about common problems that impact dog welfare, particularly where there are multiple contributing factors that can occur months or years before the problem becomes apparent. The Generation Pup study is the first longitudinal study of dogs that recruits pure- and mixed-breed pup...
Article
Full-text available
Initial COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in the United Kingdom (23rd March–12th May 2020) prompted lifestyle changes for many people. We explored the impact of this lockdown phase on pet dogs using an online survey completed by 6004 dog owners, who provided information including dog management data for the 7 days prior to survey completion (4th–12th...
Article
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Problem behaviours may lead to compromised welfare, risk of relinquishment and euthanasia for dogs, as well as distress and safety issues for owners. This study used data provided by 1111 UK and Republic of Ireland participants in the ‘Generation Pup’ longitudinal study of canine health and behaviour. The aims were to; i) identify the proportion an...
Article
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Idiopathic epilepsy (IE) is the most common chronic neurological condition in dogs, characterised by recurrent seizure activity and associated with negative behavioural and cognitive changes. We hypothesised that IE would negatively impact putative affective state, with dogs with IE exhibiting a more pessimistic judgement bias and more negative att...
Poster
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Perceptions of dog behaviours influence practices related to these behaviours. This study aimed to explore behaviours dog owners perceive as desirable and identify how potentially problematic behaviours (with respect to dogs’ health or welfare) were perceived. This study suggests that funny behaviours can be perceived as annoying when believed to...
Presentation
Full-text available
UK veterinary associations advise that dogs should be neutered. However, limited research supports an optimal age for neutering, which is decided by owners with veterinary guidance. This study investigated owners’ reasons for neutering their dog prior to 9-months (<9-months) and between 9- and 12-months of age (9-12-months). Wishing to prevent pup...
Poster
Full-text available
Canine tail docking is strictly regulated in England. Exemptions to the ban exist for breeds used in law enforcement, armed forces, emergency rescue, lawful pest control and lawful shooting of animals. Veterinary surgeons can dock puppies aged ≤5 days old on request by breeder/owner, provided sufficient evidence is available that puppies have been...
Presentation
Introduction Tailored post-adoption support, offered by some rehoming organisations, is aimed to provide early and preventative advice to improve adopted dog and owner quality of life, thus increasing successful adoptions. Although advice is free-of-charge, owners can decline to receive it. In this study, we investigated whether owners accepted ad...
Presentation
Full-text available
Introduction: The importance of using appropriate tools to measure human-animal interactions (HAI) is widely recognised. Continuing on from Wilson and Netting's (2012) review of HAI instruments up to 2008, this paper presents the results of a systematic literature review for HAI questionnaires created between 2009 and 2018, and discusses the curren...
Preprint
Full-text available
Lifestyle changes ensued for many people across the United Kingdom (UK) in the Spring of 2020 due to ‘lockdown’ restrictions imposed to curb the spread of a newly emerged virus, SARS-CoV-2, which caused a global pandemic of the disease known as COVID-19. More than 6,000 dog owners living in the UK completed our online survey between the 4th – 12th...
Article
Full-text available
Lifestyle changes ensued for many people across the United Kingdom (UK) in the Spring of 2020 due to ‘lockdown’ restrictions imposed to curb the spread of a newly emerged virus, SARS-CoV-2, which caused a global pandemic of the disease known as COVID-19. More than 6,000 dog owners living in the UK completed our online survey between the 4th – 12th...
Article
Full-text available
Background Puppy acquisition decisions may impact upon the health and behaviour of these dogs in later life. It is widely recommended by welfare organisations and veterinary bodies that puppies should not leave maternal care until at least eight weeks (56 days) of age, and that when acquiring a puppy it should be viewed with its mother. Methods Ow...
Article
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Sleep is a vital behaviour that can reflect an animal’s adaptation to the environment and their welfare. However, a better understanding of normal age-specific sleep patterns is crucial. This study aims to provide population norms and descriptions of sleep-related behaviours for 16-week-old puppies and 12-month-old dogs living in domestic environme...
Poster
Full-text available
Sleep is a vital part of the lives of animals, with quality and duration of sleep known to impact on health and wellbeing. Limited research exists on sleep behaviour in dogs in domestic situations. This work sought to address this gap by summarising the sleep behaviour of dogs, aged 12 months, belonging to UK/ROI dog owners participating in an ongo...
Presentation
Behavioural problems are commonly reported when returning adopted dogs to rehoming organisations. Supporting owners in managing their dogs’ behaviour after adoption is of importance for welfare. This study aimed to investigate reported occurrences of behaviours in dogs in the first weeks after adoption. Adoptions for 1419 dogs from 20 UK Dogs Trust...
Article
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One of the core objectives of many animal-welfare organisations is to achieve improvements in animal welfare through school education programmes. However, whilst many charities and organisations develop and deliver these educational activities, impact relating to specific animal welfare attitudes and behaviours remains largely undescribed. This stu...
Chapter
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A recording of the presentation of this work can be found at the time [1:54:40] in the following link: https://www.bsavalibrary.com/content/chapter/10.22233/9781910443774.ch92sec2#supplementary_data
Presentation
Full-text available
Generation Pup is a longitudinal cohort study, investigating risk factors for a range of health and behavioural outcomes in dogs. This includes data on diet and feeding behaviours which may influence a range of outcomes at different life stages. Here, descriptive data from 476 dogs with complete datasets at both 7 and 12 months old are presented, i...
Article
Full-text available
Behaviour problems are amongst the most common reasons given for relinquishing dogs to rehoming centres. Some behaviour problems may be amenable to being tackled pre-emptively with classes educating owners on basic dog training and understanding behaviour; however, it is recognised that people with low socio-economic status (SES) may face barriers...
Presentation
Full-text available
Generation Pup is a canine cohort study run by researchers associated with the UK canine charity Dogs Trust. Here, we report recent findings from Generation Pup data on dietary and feeding practices for puppies aged 7 and 12 months, with additional reference to body condition scores at 12 months. For further information on Generation Pup please vi...
Poster
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Longitudinal data collected for 258 dogs revealed that owners were more likely to seek veterinary advice for dogs that were insured and if no other dogs were owned by the household. Health problems lasting longer (1-2 days or 3+ days) were more likely to result in veterinary advice than health problems last <1 day. The type of problem (vomiting/eye...
Conference Paper
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Dogs are handed to welfare charities for many reasons, including being found as strays after abandonment, or relinquished from homes due to unwanted behaviour. Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, rehomes approximately 15,000 dogs annually. Not all rehoming is successful, however, because a portion of dogs are returned to the charity’s...
Poster
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Jane K Murray presented this poster describing puppy acquisition behaviour within the Generation Pup cohort at the International Symposium of Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics (ISVEE) in Chiang-Mai, Thailand. With over 700 delegates attending from 30 countries we hope the awareness of Generation Pup and the importance of this project will be sp...
Article
Psychiatric comorbidities affect a large percentage of people with epilepsy and have a detrimental impact on their quality of life. Recently, behavioural comorbidities, with similar characteristics to human psychiatric diseases, have been identified in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy. In particular, behaviours motivated by the fear–anxiety emotional...
Poster
Full-text available
An interesting poster describing early recruitment & data collection for the Generation Pup study was presented at the annual conference of the Society of Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine which took place in Estonia in March 2018.
Article
Neutering is key to feline population control. Neutering campaigns provide education and/or financial assistance to encourage neutering. This study assessed the impact of the Cats Protection East Midlands Neutering Campaign (CPEMNC) on the proportion and ages of cats neutered. The CPEMNC, comprising of an outreach programme and voucher-based subsid...
Article
Syringomyelia is a common and chronic neurological disorder affecting Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. The condition is putatively painful, but evaluating the affective component of chronic pain in non-human animals is challenging. Here we employed two methods designed to assess animal affect - the judgement bias and reward loss sensitivity tests -...
Article
Risk factors for human-directed aggression were investigated using retrospective analysis of data from a referral-level clinical behaviour population in the UK. A sample of 200 cases involving human-directed canine aggression and 200 control cases involving no instance of human-directed aggression were selected at random from a population of 746 ca...
Article
Obesity is considered the second most common health problem in pet cats in developed countries. This study used prospective data from a longitudinal study of pet cats (‘C.L.A.W.S.’, www.bristol.ac.uk/vetscience/claws) to identify early-life risk factors for feline overweight/obesity occurring at around two years of age. Data were collected via five...
Article
The causes of fear and anxiety in working dogs are multifactorial and may include inherited characteristics that differ between individuals (e.g. Goddard and Beilharz, 1982; 1984a,b), influences of the environment (Lefebvre et al., 2007), and learned experiences during particular sensitive periods (Appleby et al., 2002) and throughout life. Fear-re...
Article
Objectives: The most common cause of lower urinary tract signs (LUTS) in cats under the age of 10 years is feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC). The prevalence of LUTS in the UK pet cat population is difficult to assess. This study used data collected prospectively to investigate the prevalence of, and risk factors for, owner-reported LUTS in a cohort...
Article
Separation anxiety/separation-related behavior problems (SA/SRB) are a significant cause of abandonment and failure of rehoming in dogs. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of providing written advice to adopters of dogs, aimed at reducing the risk of SA/SRB occurring in the new home. An opportunity sample of 176 dogs was taken from...
Article
We here respond to the claim by Schilder and colleagues (Schilder, M. B. H., Vinke, C. M., van der Borg, J. A. M., 2014. Dominance in domestic dogs revisited: Useful habit and useful construct? J. Vet. Behav.: Clin. App. Res. 9, 184-191) that dominance is a useful construct in the interpretation of companion dog behavior. We first make the distinct...
Article
Obesity is considered the second most common health problem in pet cats in developed countries. Previous studies investigating risk factors for feline obesity have been cross-sectional, where reverse causality cannot be ruled out. This study is the first to use prospective data from a large scale longitudinal study of pet cats ('Bristol Cats') to i...
Article
Behavioural signs of fear or anxiety on exposure to noises in owned domestic dogs have been suggested in clinical studies to be common and a significant welfare concern. In this study two approaches were taken to investigate the occurrence of, and risk factors for, these behaviours: a postal survey of dog owners to investigate general demographic f...
Article
Full-text available
Aggression between dogs is common and can result in injury. The aims of this study were to estimate prevalence, evaluate co-occurrence with human-directed aggression, and investigate potential risk factors, using a cross-sectional convenience sample of dog owners. Aggression (barking, lunging, growling or biting) towards unfamiliar dogs was reporte...