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Importance of Puppy Training for Future Behavior of the Dog

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In this study, we attempted to clarify whether puppy socialization and command training class, which was limited to puppies approximately 4 months of age, prevented behavior problems in dogs. We evaluated the behaviors of 142 dogs with 4 types of training experience by using a behavior test and the Canine Behavior Assessment and Research Questionnaire (C-BARQ). Dogs in the puppy class (PC) group (n=44) attended the class for 1 hr each week for 6 weeks, dogs in the puppy party (PP) group (n=39) attended a 1-hr "puppy party," dogs in the adult class (AC) group (n=27) undertook basic obedience lessons for adolescent/adult dogs for 1 hr each week for 6 weeks, and dogs in the no class (NC) group (n=32) underwent no formal training. The behavior test evaluated each dog's response to commands, owner's recall, separation, a novel stimulus, and strangers. The C-BARQ evaluated 15 canine behavioral factors. The behavior test results indicated that the PC and AC groups showed significantly higher response to commands than the PP or NC group. Thus, participation in puppy and adult classes improved the obedience behavior of dogs, regardless of age. Positive response to strangers in the PC group was significantly higher than that in the AC and NC groups and tended to be higher than that in the PP group. Therefore, PC may help prevent canine behavioral problems such as disobedience or fear of strangers.
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FULL PAPER Ethology
Importance of Puppy Training for Future Behavior of the Dog
Ai KUTSUMI1)*, Miho NAGASAWA1), Mitsuaki OHTA1) and Nobuyo OHTANI1)
1)Azabu University Graduate School of Veterinary Science, 1–17–71 Fuchinobe, Chuo-ku, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252–5201, Japan
(Received 10 January 2012/Accepted 12 September 2012/Published online in J-STAGE 26 September 2012)
ABSTRACT. In this study, we attempted to clarify whether puppy socialization and command training class, which was limited to puppies
approximately 4 months of age, prevented behavior problems in dogs. We evaluated the behaviors of 142 dogs with 4 types of training
experience by using a behavior test and the Canine Behavior Assessment and Research Questionnaire (C-BARQ). Dogs in the puppy
class (PC) group (n=44) attended the class for 1 hr each week for 6 weeks, dogs in the puppy party (PP) group (n=39) attended a 1-hr
“puppy party,” dogs in the adult class (AC) group (n=27) undertook basic obedience lessons for adolescent/adult dogs for 1 hr each week
for 6 weeks, and dogs in the no class (NC) group (n=32) underwent no formal training. The behavior test evaluated each dog’s response
to commands, owner’s recall, separation, a novel stimulus and strangers. The C-BARQ evaluated 15 canine behavioral factors. The
behavior test results indicated that the PC and AC groups showed signicantly higher response to commands than the PP or NC group.
Thus, participation in puppy and adult classes improved the obedience behavior of dogs, regardless of age. Positive response to strangers
in the PC group was signicantly higher than that in the AC and NC groups and tended to be higher than that in the PP group. Therefore,
PC may help prevent canine behavioral problems such as disobedience or fear of strangers.
KEY WORDS: behavior, canine, puppy, socialization, training.
doi: 10.1292/jvms.12-00 08; J. Vet. Med. Sci. 75(2): 141–149, 2 013
In the United States and Europe, dog behavioral prob-
lems account for 17–20% dogs relinquished to animal
shelters, with most of these dogs being sacriced eventually
[3, 11, 14, 16]. In Japan, the estimated number of pet dogs
was 11,861,000 in 2010 [9]. Of these, 74,297 adult dogs and
19,510 puppies were relinquished to animal shelters in 2009
[13]. An additional report suggested that 32,944 of those
relinquished dogs were either returned to their owners or
adopted by new owners, whereas 64,061 dogs were eventu-
ally sacriced in 2009 [13]. Although empirical data have
not been collected to assess the reasons why the dogs were
relinquished to animal shelters, it is likely that the key rea-
son underlying this action was behavioral problems, which
was also observed in the U.S. and Europe.
Adequate socialization is necessary for producing a
well-balanced and well-adjusted dog [17]. Fear or aggres-
sion towards people or other dogs is strongly inuenced
by the environment during the socialization period [1, 19].
An interesting survey in Spain suggested that aggressive
behavior toward people and moving objects is associated
with the levels of training and socialization [10]. Puppy
class (PC) was originally developed to provide training for
puppies to prevent behavioral problems, and it is different
from the obedience class conducted for adult dogs. The PC
includes socialization with people and other dogs, desensi-
tization to noises in the class, basic command training and
responsible dog ownership. Dogs that participated in puppy
socialization classes had a higher retention rate in homes
[5]. However, there have been no studies on the behavioral
effects of dogs after the puppy socialization class. Till date,
a limited number of researchers have succeeded in scienti-
cally clarifying the effects of PC training. If a short course
of puppy training could help minimize unwanted behaviors
and if the effect of training was scientically proven, then
PC could play an important role in preventing behavioral
problems.
PC includes basic obedience training as well as social-
ization with other puppies and people. However, in Japan,
basic obedience class for adolescent/adult dogs is more
popular than PC. We hypothesize that the PC and the adult
class (AC) have different effects on canine behavior, par-
ticularly in terms of socialization. Thus, a trial puppy train-
ing session called “puppy party” (PP) is currently being
practiced in Japan. It has been observed that participants
were recruited more easily for PP than PC. In this study,
we compared behavioral effects on dogs with 4 different
types of training class experience: PC, PP, AC and NC (no
class). For the evaluation of dog behaviors, a behavioral
test was performed at the owner’s house to investigate the
dog’s social behavior towards people, response to handling
by and commands of the owner or strangers, response to a
novel stimulus and response to separation. In addition, the
Canine Behavior Assessment and Research Questionnaire
(C-BARQ) [20] was used to identify any aggression in the
dog’s daily conduct that might not be sufciently identied
by the behavioral test.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Subjects: In this study, 142 dogs and their owners were
recruited by personal contacts and circulars distributed by
*CorrespondenCe to: Kutsumi, A., Azabu University Graduate
School of Veterinary Science, 1–17–71 Fuchinobe, Chuo-ku,
Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252–5201, Japan.
e-mail: tsujimura@siriusdog.jp
©2013 The Japanese Society of Veterinary Science
A. KUTSUMI, M. NAGASAWA, M. OHTA AND N. OHTANI
142
the SIRIUS® Dog Training School and the adjacent pet store
in Japan. The participants lived in Hyogo, Osaka, or Kyoto
Prefecture in Japan. In the study, informed consent was ob-
tained from each participant. The participants included 76
male and 66 female dogs, with 7 crossbred dogs and 135
purebred dogs, which represented 31 different breeds. Ac-
cording to American Kennel Club categories, the dogs were
classied into 13 sporting dogs, 24 hounds, 18 terriers, 57
toy dogs, 19 non-sporting dogs and 11 herding dogs (Table
1). The term “breed group” was used when comparing the
results among these 6 breed groups in this study. All dogs
were classied into one of the 4 classes on the basis of previ-
ous training experience: (1) PC group, (2) PP group, (3) AC
group and (4) NC group (Table 2). The dogs in the PC group
attended the SIRIUS® Dog Training School Japan for 1 hr
each week for 6 weeks (n=44). The dogs in the PP group at-
tended a 1-hr puppy party (n=39). The dogs in the AC group
participated in basic obedience lessons for adolescent and
adult dogs (n=27) and had never participated in a PP, PC, or
any other training lessons before joining this class. The dogs
in the NC group did not receive any training lessons (n=32).
The puppy class: In this study, PC refers to the classes
held by the author in SIRIUS® Dog Training School Japan.
Each PC included 4–8 puppies and their owners. The puppies
were between 10 and 18 weeks of age when they started the
rst class and had received 2 DHLPP (Distemper, Hepatitis,
Leptospirosis, Parvo and Parainuenza) vaccinations. The
PC training opportunities included bite inhibition, house-
training, habituation, classical conditioning to the other
dogs and handling by other participants. The adopted train-
ing methods were basic obedience commands (Sit, Down,
Come, Stay, and Off) and off-leash control skills without
force. We used the training methods and PC program that
were developed by Dunbar [4]. A homework sheet was given
to the dog owners of each class to encourage their study at
home.
The puppy party: In this study, PP means the parties held
by the author in SIRIUS® Dog Training School Japan. The
PP included 4–8 puppies and their owners, and these are held
for a single 1-hr session, which is the same as the rst week
of the PC. The puppies were between 10 and 18 weeks of age
and had received 2 DHLPP vaccinations. The PP provided
the opportunities for bite inhibition, housetraining, habitu-
ation, classical conditioning to the other dogs and handling
by other participants as well as basic obedience command
training (Sit and Down).
The adult class: The dogs in the AC had participated in one
of the 3 dog training schools: SIRIUS® Dog Training School
Japan, Dog’n’people, or Tocotoko. All the training schools
adopted the training methods based on positive reinforce-
ment without using physical force or physical punishment.
All 3 schools were provided the training of basic obedience
commands (Sit, Down, Come, Stay and Off) and handling by
the owner and other participants. The participants attended
the class for 1 hr each week for 6 consecutive weeks. The
dogs were 5 months to 2 years of age when they started the
rst class. Adult classes were group sessions, and there were
2–5 dogs in each class. All dogs in the ACs were not aggres-
sive or reactive to people or dogs.
Experimental procedures: Behavioral test. In this study,
we needed to evaluate the dog’s socialization with the owner
and other people, response to handling, response to com-
mands, and response to a novel stimulus. Since there is no
suitable behavioral test to assess all the above responses, we
developed a behavior test from previous behavior tests [15,
18, 21] and performed factor analysis of the results of the
behavior test.
The experimenter (woman) and another woman who
played the role of a stranger in the test visited the home of
each dog once. Each test session lasted 30 min. All test ses-
sions were videotaped for subsequent analysis. In all behav-
ior tests, the experimenter had a familiarization period of at
least 5 min. The woman who played a stranger in the test had
never met any of the tested dogs in the past.
Table 1. Demographic information of dogs
Breed groups Breed n
Sporting Golden Retriever 6
Labrador Retriever 6
Irish Setter 1
Hound Miniature Dachshund 19
Beagle 2
Miniature Dachshund mix 1
Beagle mix 1
Whippet 1
Terrier Miniature Schnauzer 8
Jack Russell Terrier 6
Miniature Bull Terrier 1
West Highland White Terrier 1
Airedale Terrier 1
Wire Fox Terrier 1
Toy Toy Poodle 23
Chihuahua 7
Papillon 5
Miniature Pinscher 4
Shih Tzu 4
Pomeranian 3
Pug 2
Maltese 2
Italian Greyhound 1
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 1
Pekingese 1
Japanese Chin 1
Bichon Frise mix 1
Chihuahua - Toy Poodle mix 1
Chihuahua - Miniature Pinscher mix 1
Non-sporting Shiba Inu 13
Shiba Inu mix 3
Boston Terrier 2
Japanese Spitz 1
Hearding Pembroke Welsh Corgi 9
Belgian Tervuren 1
Border Collie 1
total 142
EFFECTI VENESS OF PUPPY TRAINING CLASS 143
The room with which the dog was most familiar was
selected as the test room. A small chair was placed in the
corner of the room, and the experimenter outlined the test
protocol to the owners. A video camera (GZ-MG330-S;
JVC KENWOOD Corp., Kanagawa, Japan) was mounted
on a tripod to maximize the oor space being lmed while
eliminating the risk of accidental damage by the dog. The
dog’s behaviors during each test were transcribed from the
video data. The behavioral tests and variables are described
in Table 3. These variables were used in the factor analysis.
Further, comparisons between the groups were based on the
factor scores.
Questionnaire. Before the behavioral test, we mailed a
questionnaire to the test-dog owners. The questionnaire used
in this study was based on the C-BARQ developed by Hsu
and Serpell [8]. They developed the original C-BARQ for
measuring behavioral traits in pet dogs by using data from
the United States. Nagasawa et al. examined the validity of
the C-BARQ in Japan [12]. Subsequently, they suggested
that C-BARQ could be used in Japan to assess 15 behavioral
factors. In this study, we used the mean of the total scores
of each behavior factor, according to the method of Hsu and
Serpell [8].
In the questionnaire, we also asked about the level of
socialization and command training that the dogs experi-
enced in daily life and rated the score on a 5-point scale:
“Frequency of contact with people outside the family,” “Fre-
quency of contact with dogs outside the family,” “Frequency
of basic command training (Sit, Down, Come and Stay),”
and “Frequency of learning new tricks.”
We evaluated the differences in the 15 factors of the C-
BARQ in Japan and 4 experience levels in daily life among
the 4 training groups.
Statistical analysis. Demographic data of the dogs were
analyzed using the chi-square test. Data from the behavioral
test were initially subjected to factor analysis. Kaiser’s ei-
genvalue rule was used to determine the number of interpre-
table factors that could be extracted, and varimax rotation
was used to identify empirical groupings of the measured
variables of the behavior test. Results were expressed as
mean ± SEM. To analyze the factors of the behavior test and
questionnaire, each parameter was analyzed by multivariate
analysis of variance (MANOVA) by using training group,
breed group, and sex as factors. In addition, a post-hoc Bon-
ferroni test was used to analyze differences among the train-
ing groups. Statistical signicance was accepted at P<0.05.
All analyses were performed with statistical software (SPSS,
v.13; IBM Japan Ltd., Tokyo, Japan).
RESULTS
There was no signicant difference in breed groups, age,
and sex among the training groups. There were signicant
differences in the ratio of neutered/spayed to total dogs
among the groups 2(3)=23.7, P<0.01], but there was no
signicant difference in residual analysis.
Factor analysis of the behavior test: Twenty-ve vari-
ables measured by the behavior test were categorized into 2
groups: the 19 continuous variables group and the 6 ordinal
variables group. Further, each group was analyzed by fac-
tor analysis. The continuous variables were grouped into 5
factors that accounted for 80.3% of the common variance
(Table 4). Measured variables with an absolute value of fac-
tor loading of <0.4 were excluded. The rst factor consisted
of 6 variables that were related to commands both by the
owner and the stranger, which was labeled “Response to
commands.” The second factor consisted of 4 variables that
were related to separation and was thus labeled “Response
to separation I.” The third factor consisted of 3 variables that
were related to interaction with a strange person and was
labeled “Positive response to stranger.” The fourth factor
consisted of 2 variables that were related to owner’s recall
and was subsequently labeled “Response to owner’s recall.”
The fth factor consisted of 2 variables that were related to
separation and was labeled “Response to separation II.”
The ordinal variables were grouped into 2 factors that ac-
counted for 69.25% of the common variance (Table 5). The
rst factor consisted of 4 variables that were related to fear-
ful behavior for novel stimulus and investigation behavior
for novel stimulus, which was labeled “Fearful response to
novel stimulus.” The second factor consisted of 2 variables
that were related to aggressive behavior for novel stimulus
and was thus labeled “Aggressive response to novel stimu-
lus.”
Correlation between the behavior test and questionnaire:
The relationship between the behavior test and C-BARQ
was examined by correlation analysis, and signicant cor-
relations were observed between the following mutual
corresponding traits (Table 6): Positive response to strange
person and Stranger-directed fear (rs=−0.37, P<0.01) and
Response to command and Trainability 2 (rs=0.32, P<0.01).
Trainability 2 was related to 2 question items, namely, slow
learning and reactivity to command (reverse scoring).
With regard to the relationship between the behavior test
and the 4 experience levels in daily life, some signicant
correlations were observed (Table 7): Response to com-
mand and Frequency of contact with people outside family
Table 2. Breed groups, genders and ages of dogs in experimental groups
Group Sporting Hound Terrier Toy Non-sport Herding Male
(neutered)
Female
(spayed)
Age in months
(mean ± S.D.)
Range
(months)
PC 5 6 5 21 5 2 23 (17) 21 (14) 18.83 ± 1.11 6–36
PP 3 6 6 19 0 5 20 (6) 19 (5) 18.33 ± 1.41 6–33
AC 3 7 4 7 4 2 15 (11) 12 (8) 23.78 ± 1.74 9–36
NC 2 5 3 10 10 218 (4) 14 (6) 17.56 ± 1.41 6–33
A. KUTSUMI, M. NAGASAWA, M. OHTA AND N. OHTANI
144
(rs=0.41, P<0.01), Frequency of contact with dogs outside
family (rs=0.32, P<0.01), Frequency of basic command
training (rs=0.39, P<0.01), and Positive response to stranger
and Frequency of contact with people outside family
(rs=0.30, P<0.01).
Comparisons of the scores derived from the behavior test
and questionnaire between training groups: The behavior
test. MANOVA revealed that there were no signicant in-
teractions among training groups, breed groups and sexes.
There were signicant effects of training group [Response to
commands: F(3)=3.59, P<0.05; Response to strange person:
F(3)=3.20, P<0.05].
In the case of the training groups, the post-hoc Bonferroni
test revealed that the Response to commands was signi-
cantly higher in the PC group than in the PP and NC groups
[Fig. 1(A): PC vs. PP, P<0.01; PC vs. NC, P<0.01], and the
dogs in the AC group showed a signicantly higher score for
Response to commands than dogs in the PP and NC groups
[Fig. 1(A): AC vs. PP, P=0.03; AC vs. NC, P<0.01]. The
Positive response to stranger was signicantly higher in the
Table 3. Behavioral variables measured in the behavior test
Evaluated factors Descriptions Evaluation unit
1. Handling test by OWa) OW sat either in front of or beside the dog and demonstrated the four actions listed
below.
1-1 Touch both ears and look inside them Pass: Accepted being handled without aggressive behaviors or escape behaviors
Fail: Showed aggressiveness such as growling, snapping, biting, or moved out of
reach and made it impossible to continue this test.
* If the dog did not come to OW, these tests were nished with all the results
considered “fail”. Never forecefully grab or get close to the dog.
Passed frequency
from 4 handling
tests
(0–4)
1-2 Touch four legs
1-3 Touch muzzle
1-4 Hug (hold up)
2. Food guarding test OW was instructed to feed kibble and the dog’s favorite treats from his/her bowl as
usual. Immediately after the food was served, the experimenter performed the below
listed actions on the dog. If the food was completely consumed prior to the end of the
experiment, more food was added.
2-1 Move a dummy hand squarely toward
the dog
Evaluate the dog’s behaviors after 1–6 trials by the scores (0) to (4) against the dog
behaviors
0: Did not show any aggressive or food guarding behaviors.
1: Guarded the food with its body, stopped eating or changed eating speed.
2: Stiffened the body, growled, picked the dish when eating.
3: Snarled and growled, snapped, touched the dummy hand or human hand with its
teeth.
4: Showed seriously aggressive behaviors. Bit the dummy hand hard. Bit and ung it
around many times.
If the dog became aggressive toward the dummy hand, the test was terminated
Maximum scores
through 6 tests
(0–4)
2-2 Touch the dog’s back with the dummy
hand
2-3 Move the bowl using the dummy hand
2-4 Pet the dog’s back with the experi-
menter’s hand
2-5 Move the bowl with the experimenter’s
hand
2-6 Remove the bowl with the experi-
menter’s hand
3. Command test by OW OW gave the following commands. The commands were repeated for a maximum of
30 sec if the dog did not respond immediately. Neither food nor toy was used as the
dog’s motivation, and touching the dog was prohibited. Two trials were permithed for
each test. The total number of commands, either through verbal or hand signals, were
counted.
3-1 “Sit” when dog is in a standing position [Command achievement]
Passed if the response was seen within 30 sec on each trial, otherwise failed. Two
trials are permitted for each command test.
Frequency of
passed from 6 trials
(0–6)
3-2 “Down” when dog is in a sitting position [Command reliability]
Measured the rate of responding to commands.
1/command qty.
(AV)
3-3 “Sit” when dog is in a down position
3-4 Come OW sat on the chair or stood in front of the dog. The experimenter tapped on the oor
to make a sound to induce the dog to move more than 2 m away from OW. When the
dog was away from OW, OW was instructed to recall the dog. OW was allowed to
call the dog for a maximum of 15 sec, and two trials were permitted.
[Recall achievement]
Passed if the dog came to OW within 15 sec, otherwise failed.
Frequency of passed
from 2 trials (0–2)
[Recall reliability]
Measured the rate of responding to recall command.
1/command qty. (AV)
3-5 Sit-Stay Time of Sit-Stay (Max. 30 sec) sec
3-6 Down-Stay Time of Down-Stay (Max. 30 sec) sec
[Time of “stay” ]
The sum of time of Sit-stay and Down-stay.
4. Handling test by STb)
}
We used the same routine for the stranger that was used for OW.
5. Command test by ST
EFFECTI VENESS OF PUPPY TRAINING CLASS 145
Table 4. Results of factor analysis of behavior test (continuous variables)
Item % of Variancea) Cronbach α-values Loading
Factor 1—Response to commands 28.49 0.54
Command achivement by OW ·························································································· 0.85
Command reliability by OW (mean)················································································· 0.85
Command achivement by ST (mean) ················································································ 0.81
Command achivement by ST ···························································································· 0.80
Time of “stay” by OW······································································································ 0.65
Time of “stay” by ST········································································································· 0.59
Factor 2—Response to separation I 21.73 0.95
Frequency to touch the door No. 2 ···················································································· 0.96
Frequency to bark or whine No.1······················································································ 0.96
Frequency to touch the door No.1 ····················································································· 0.94
Frequency to bark or whine No. 2 ··················································································· 0.79
Factor 3—Positive response to stranger 11.63 0.67
Recall achievement by ST ································································································· 0.94
Recall reliability by ST ····································································································· 0.84
Score of handling test by ST ····························································································· 0.61
Factor 4—Response to owner’s recall 10.3 0.7
Recall reliability by OW ··································································································· 0.93
Recall achievement by OW ······························································································· 0.78
Factor 5—Response to separation II 8.10 0.8
Time that the dog stays close to the door No.1 ································································· 0.88
Time that the dog stays close to the door No.2 ································································· 0.78
a) Rotation sums of squared loadings. Extraction method: Maximum likelihood. Rotation method: Vari-
max with Kaiser normalization.
Evaluated factors Descriptions Evaluation unit
6. Reaction to novel stimulus OW sat on the chair and the experimenter placed an electric stuffed toy at a point
1.5 m away from OW. The experimenter used a remote control to operate the toy as
per the below listed schedule.
6-1 Stopped for 0 to 15 sec
(unmoving stimulus)
[Level of aggressive behavior for unmoving stimulus: 0–4]
0: Nonaggressive.
1: Stiffened.
2: Growled/barked, snarled.
3: Snapped at or touched the stimulus.
4: Bit or tried to bite the stimulus.
score 0–4
[Level of fearful behavior for unmoving stimulus: 0–4]
0: No fearfulness.
1: Try to approach the stimulus, but keep away from the stimulus.
2: Look away, ears down, tail down, does not move, tremble, whine, snarl etc.
3. Ears down, tail down and get away from the stimulus.
4: Escape, shrink, try best to escape or hid from the frightening targets.
score 0–4
[Level of investigating behavior for unmoving stimulus: 0–4]
0: No investigating behavior.
1: Interested in the stimulus, but keep away from the stimulus.
2: Get close slowly and sniff.
3: Get close nomal speed and sniff, touch, or push.
4: Get close immediately and sniff, push, push, or hold in.
score 0–4
6-2 Walked for 15 to 30 sec
(moving stimulus)
The same variables measured with unmoving stimulus: level of aggressive, fearful
and investigating behavior.
score 0–4
7. Separation test OW left the room and stayed outside for 1 min followed by the experimenter leaving
the room and staying outside for 1 min.
7-1 OW leaves the room Time that the dog stays close to the door (in 1 min) sec
Frequency of whining times
Frequency of touching the door times
7-2 Everyone leaves the room Time that the dog stays close to the door (in 1 min) sec
Frequency of whining times
Frequency of touching (scratching, jumping at) the door times
a) OW: owner, b) ST: stranger.
(Table 3. Continued)
A. KUTSUMI, M. NAGASAWA, M. OHTA AND N. OHTANI
146
Table 6. Correlations between the response scores from the behavior test and the factor scores from the C-BARQ in Japan
Response in
the behavior test
Factors from the C-BARQ in Japan
SDA SRB SDF NSF PRA ODA/F AAB DDA CHASE ORE TRAIN1 DDF VRE TRAIN2 IAB
Commands –0.17 0.01 –0.29 –0.07 –0.02 –0.10 –0.06 –0.06 0.19 –0.07 0.20 –0.26 –0.07 0.32 0.01
Separation I –0.04 0.24 0.00 –0.03 –0.07 –0.09 –0.01 –0.02 –0.11 0.12 0.07 0.07 0.13 0.07 –0.05
Stranger –0.18 –0.01 –0.37 –0.08 0.02 –0.03 –0.05 –0.03 0.15 –0.02 0.17 –0.19 –0.09 0.11 –0.04
Owner’s recall 0.04 0.06 –0.02 –0.06 –0.05 0.00 0.07 0.05 0.13 –0.11 0.04 –0.09 0.01 0.10 0.05
Separation II –0.10 0.14 0.01 –0.06 –0.07 –0.02 –0.05 –0.14 0.02 0.03 –0.07 –0.07 0.05 0.10 –0.04
FRN 0.26 0.10 0.25 0.19 0.08 0.08 0.15 0.20 –0.27 0.05 0.00 0.26 0.07 0.01 –0.06
ARN 0.27 0.12 0.23 0.16 0.11 0.10 0.15 0.21 –0.26 0.07 –0.01 0.27 0.07 0.01 –0.04
Cronbach α-values 0.90 0.81 0.86 0.73 0.75 0.66 0.74 0.94 0.75 0.81 0.67 0.85 0.72 0.63 0.73
Coefcients in bold indicate statistically signicant correlations at P<0.05 after correction for the number of comparisons, coefcients greater than
0.30 are underlined. SDA: stranger-directed aggression, SRB: separation-related behavior, SDF: stranger-directed fear, NSF: non-social fear, PRA:
possession-related aggression, ODA/F: owner-directed aggression/fear, AAB: attachment and attention-seeking behavior, DDA: dog-directed aggres-
sion, CHASE: chasing, ORE: outing-related excitability, TRIAIN1: trainability 1, DDF: dog-directed fear, VRE: visitor-related excitability, TRAIN2:
trainability 2, IAB: intervention of third-party-related attention-seeking behavior, FRN: fearful response to novel stimulus, ARN: aggressive response
to novel stimulus.
Table 5. Results of factor analysis of behavior test (ordinal variables)
Item % of Variance Cronbach α-values Loading
Factor 1—Fearful response to novel stimulus 39.89 0.84
Investigating behavior for moving stimulus ···································································· –0.92
Fearful behavior for moving stimulus ·············································································· 0.85
Investigation behavior for unmoving stimulus ································································ –0.69
Fearful behavior for unmoving stimulus ·········································································· 0.57
Factor 2—Aggressive response to novel stimulus 29.36 0.86
Aggressive behavior for unmoving stimulus ··································································· 0.99
Aggressive behavior for moving stimulus ······································································· 0.80
Extraction method: Maximum likelihood. Rotation method: Varimax with Kaiser normalization.
EFFECTI VENESS OF PUPPY TRAINING CLASS 147
PC group than in the AC and NC groups [Fig. 1(C): PC vs.
AC, P=0.04; PC vs. NC, P=0.02]. The Positive response to
stranger in the PC group tended to be higher than that in the
PP group [Fig. 1(C): P=0.07].
Questionnaire. Regarding the C-BARQ and the 4 experi-
ence levels in daily life, MANOVA revealed that there were
no interactions among training groups, breed groups, and
sexes. Further, there were no signicant differences among
the training groups.
DISCUSSION
The primary aim of this study was to compare the behav-
ioral effects of puppy socialization and command training
class, which was limited to puppies approximately 4 months
of age with the effects of other types of training experience:
PP, AC, and NC. There were no signicant differences in
breed groups, age, sex, and the proportion of neutered/
spayed dogs among the class groups.
In this study, an original behavior test was developed from
previous behavior tests to evaluate the behavior traits re-
quired of companion dogs, such as friendship to owners and
strangers, acceptance of handling, response to commands,
and response to novel stimulus. Seven factors were extracted
by factor analysis: “Response to commands,” “Response to
separation I,” “Positive response to stranger,” “Response
to owner’s recall,” “Response to separation II,” “Fearful
response to novel stimulus” and “Aggressive response to
novel stimulus.”
There were 2 signicant correlations between the scores
of the behavior test and the C-BARQ in Japan. A negative
correlation was observed between Positive response to
stranger in the behavior test and Stranger-directed fear in
the C-BARQ, suggesting that dogs less friendly to strang-
ers according to the behavior test show a stronger fear of
strangers in daily life. A positive correlation was also de-
tected between Response to commands and Trainability. The
trainability in C-BARQ indicates the speed of learning new
tricks or tasks and responding to correction or punishment.
Table 7. Correlations between the response scores from the behav-
ior test and the experience level in daily life
Response in the
behavior test
Experience level in daily life
People Dog Commands Tricks
Commands 0.41 0.32 0.39 0.10
Separation I –0.12 –0.07 –0.10 –0.06
Stranger 0.30 0.22 0.16 0.07
Owner’s recall –0.01 0.02 0.01 –0.05
Separation II 0.00 0.00 –0.03 0.00
FRN –0.21 –0.14 –0.04 –0.12
ARN –0.20 –0.16 –0.03 –0.12
Coefcients in bold indicate statistically signicant correlations at
P<0.05 after correction for the number of comparisons, coefcients
greater than 0.30 are underlined. FRN: fearful response to novel stimu-
lus, ARN: aggressive response to novel stimulus.
Fig. 1. The mean factor scores (± SEM) of behavior test
for (A) Response to commands (B) Response to separa-
tion I (C) Positive response to stranger (D) Response to
owner’s recall (E) Response to separation II (F) Fearful
response to novel stimulus (E) Aggressive response to
novel stimulus for each of training group (*P<0.05 and
**P<0.01, respectively).
A. KUTSUMI, M. NAGASAWA, M. OHTA AND N. OHTANI
148
This positive correlation suggests that the dogs with higher
Response to commands were considered as highly trainable
in daily life by the owners. In addition, there were some
signicant correlations between the scores of the behavior
test and the 4 experience levels in daily life. Three positive
correlations were detected between Response to commands
and Frequency of people outside family, Frequency of dogs
outside family, and Frequency of basic command training.
These positive correlations suggest that the dogs with greater
experience of socialization and basic command training in
daily life showed stronger Response to commands, accord-
ing to behavior test. Further, a positive correlation was ob-
served between Positive response to stranger in the behavior
test and Frequency of contact with people outside family,
suggesting that dogs with higher experience level about
socialization with people are more friendly to strangers, ac-
cording to the behavior test.
To compare the behavior test scores among the training
groups, we used MANOVA to analyze the training groups,
breed groups, and sexes. There were no interactions among
these variables. Response to commands was signicantly
higher in the PC and AC groups than in the PP or NC group.
Past studies have revealed positive effects of puppy social-
ization and training programs on response to commands
[18] and positive effects of obedience training in adult dogs
[2]. Hence, command training may be effective, regardless
of age. In addition, Positive response to stranger in the PC
group was signicantly higher than that in the AC and NC
groups and tended to be higher than that in the PP group.
This indicates that handling or command training by non-
family members during PC could promote socialization with
people and classical conditioning. In addition, there were
no signicant differences among the training groups with
respect to the experience level of socialization and basic
command training in daily life, according to the results of
the questionnaire. Therefore, the differences in the response
to stranger and commands in the behavior test among train-
ing groups were because of the effect of learning in training
class, and not experience in daily life.
From the above results, we suggest that the training fre-
quency of PP is insufcient for both command and socializa-
tion training. AC is good for command training, but too late
for socialization. Previous studies have indicated that a dog’s
experience during the socialization period has a strong inu-
ence on future behavioral development [1, 6, 17, 19]. Scott
and Fuller dened the period of socialization as between 3
and 12 weeks from the results of a study on complete isola-
tion in laboratory animals [17]. This study, however, claimed
that contact with people after the socialization period was
still effective. Fuller found that puppies could be socialized
to people during this period with as little as two 20-min ses-
sions of exposure per week [7]. Our study suggests that even
after the socialization period, active approach by various
people in the puppy class (6 weeks of 1 hr session per week)
might be effective in further socialization to people.
In conclusion, this study revealed 3 important ndings.
First, the behavior test showed that participation in PC
contributes to improving the positive response of the dog to
strangers. This indicates that if an ordinary companion pup-
py participates in a PC for socialization at about 4 months
of age, the dog is likely to remain friendly to non-family
members at an acceptable level. Second, participation in PC
or AC contributes to improving the response to commands.
Therefore, PC and AC may help prevent or modify disobedi-
ence problems. Third, signicant correlations were found
between the behavior test and C-BARQ. This suggests that
the C-BARQ is effective for early detection of behavioral
problems, and dog owners and professional dog-behavior
therapists can start behavior modication programs before
the problem becomes critical.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. This research was supported by
a Grant-in-Aid for Matching Fund Subsidy for Private Uni-
versities from the Promotion and Mutual Aid Corporation for
Private Schools of Japan. The authors are especially grateful
to Dr. Ian Dunbar for his hospitality and technical support in
puppy training.
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