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Behaviour of smaller and larger dogs: Effects of training methods, inconsistency of owner behaviour and level of engagement in activities with the dog

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Behaviour of smaller and larger dogs: Effects of training methods, inconsistency of owner behaviour and level of engagement in activities with the dog

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... Casey et al. (2014) insistent sur le fait qu'il serait inapproprié d'émettre des hypothèses quant au risque d'agression associé à un animal sur la base de caractéristiques comme la race. Arhant et al. (2010), après une analyse statistique de 1 276 réponses à un questionnaire rempli par des propriétaires de chiens au sujet du comportement de leur chien, montrent que les chiens de petit format (moins de 20 kg) sont considérés comme moins obéissants, plus agressifs, plus anxieux et peureux. ...
... o les caractéristiques morphologiques des animaux (petites vs grandes races (Arhant et al. 2010, Messam et al. 2012 Douze études bibliographiques sur 25 conservées par le groupe d'experts identifient des races de chiens plus ou moins agressives ou associées à un plus grand nombre de morsures en rapportant leurs effectifs à l'effectif estimé du type racial dans la population générale. Cependant, les races identifiées comme potentiellement plus agressives diffèrent entre les études, et il n'est pas possible de tirer une conclusion à l'échelle de la population canine générale étant donné les biais méthodologiques constatés. ...
... Globalement, les approches punitives, physiques ou verbales, pour sanctionner des comportements non souhaités apparaissent comme l'un des facteurs majeurs d'agression (Casey et al. 2014, O'Sullivan et al. 2008. De même, pour Arhant et al. (2010), se basant sur 1 405 questionnaires, l'utilisation de renforcements négatifs et de punitions a un effet délétère sur la relation humainchien, opposé à celui du renforcement positif (récompenses). Herron, Shofer et Reisner (2009) ont pu analyser 140 questionnaires renseignés par des propriétaires de chien ayant consulté pour problèmes de comportement. ...
Technical Report
Advice of the French Food Safety Agency on the risk of dog bites and the relevance of breed specific laws made by a subgroup of the Animal Health and Welfare Committee. An evaluation of risk process : identification of the hazard, evaluation of risk i.e emission X expostion and consequences. Advice given on demand of Department of Agriculture related to Laws of 1999, 2007 and 2008 concerning dangerous dogs. Relevance of categorization of dog breeds is discussed as well as the methods of behavioural evaluation.
... Dog's size was associated with aggressive behaviour, with small dogs more likely to display aggression. Similar results have also been obtained earlier (Arhant, Bubna-Littitz, Bartels, Futschik, & Troxler, 2010;Ley, Bennett, & Coleman, 2009;McGreevy et al., 2013;Stone, McGreevy, Starling, & Forkman, 2016); however, one study found opposing results (Khoshnegah et al., 2011). Furthermore, small dogs may be more prone to other unwanted behaviours as well, including fear (Arhant et al., 2010;Hakanen et al., 2020;Khoshnegah et al., 2011;Ley et al., 2009;McGreevy et al., 2013;Puurunen et al., 2020;Stone et al., 2016). ...
... Similar results have also been obtained earlier (Arhant, Bubna-Littitz, Bartels, Futschik, & Troxler, 2010;Ley, Bennett, & Coleman, 2009;McGreevy et al., 2013;Stone, McGreevy, Starling, & Forkman, 2016); however, one study found opposing results (Khoshnegah et al., 2011). Furthermore, small dogs may be more prone to other unwanted behaviours as well, including fear (Arhant et al., 2010;Hakanen et al., 2020;Khoshnegah et al., 2011;Ley et al., 2009;McGreevy et al., 2013;Puurunen et al., 2020;Stone et al., 2016). ...
... Furthermore, aggression and other unwanted behaviours may be better tolerated by owners of small-sized dogs, as small dogs are easier to handle and rarely dangerous to people, even if they snap or bite. Thus, they may be trained less than larger dogs (Arhant et al., 2010), leading to problematic behaviours. Small dogs may be also exercised less than larger dogs (Arhant et al., 2010), which can increase stress and frustration. ...
Thesis
Full-text available
Behavioural traits are complex, influenced by multiple genes and environmental factors and they can also affect the health and welfare of individuals. Behaviour is equally important for companion animals, cats and dogs. Furthermore, some of their behavioural traits resemble human psychiatric diseases. Despite behaviour’s importance, its biological background is still poorly known in these animals. This thesis examines the complexity of behaviour by studying the genetic and environmental factors influencing behaviour, as well as behavioural intercorrelations simultaneously in two companion animal species: the dog and the cat. This comparative perspective may reveal insights into the background of behaviour that could also be generalized to human behaviour. Specifically, this thesis aims to study 1) breed differences of dogs and cats and heritability of behaviour in cats, 2) behaviour correlations in both species, and 3) environmental factors influencing aggression in dogs and multiple behavioural traits in cats. Behavioural and background data was collected from the dog and cat owners through online questionnaires. In both species, the frequency of fear, aggression, and abnormal repetitive behaviour was examined. Sociability and level of activity was also examined in cats and impulsivity/inattention in dogs. Large datasets of 13 715 dogs and 5726 cats were collected and analysed with different methods, including multiple logistic regression for the environmental factors of behaviour and Bayesian multivariate model for heritability analyses. The results of this thesis show that both dog and cat breeds differ in behaviour, that behaviour is heritable, that many behavioural traits are correlated, and that many environmental factors are associated with behavioural traits. Heritability estimates varied between 0.40 and 0.53 for all behavioural traits and breeds. Especially fear and aggression correlated strongly and these traits were also associated with abnormal repetitive behaviour in both species. Social environment in both early life and at the time of answering was associated with lower incidence of aggression and abnormal repetitive behaviour. The results closely paralleled in both companion animal species and showed some parallels to human psychiatry as well. This finding indicates that the biological background of behaviour is similar in dogs and cats, and likely in humans as well. The findings of this thesis had great scientific and practical impact, as, for example, regulations for separating a kitten from its mother was adapted accordingly.
... Understanding the factors underlying owner perception of what constitutes a 'problem' is therefore an important factor in reducing the risk of euthanasia and relinquishment, as well as identifying risk factors for the behaviours themselves. Data related to owner perception of problem behaviours has previously been collated via owner questionnaires (see for example Adams and Clark, 1989;Guy et al., 2001;Kobelt et al., 2003;Marder et al., 2004;Bennett and Rohlf, 2007;Blackwell et al., 2008;Arhant et al., 2010) and studies based on clinical behaviour cases (see for example Denenberg et al., 2005;Bamberger and Houpt, 2006;Fatjó et al., 2007;Yalcin and Batmaz, 2007;Lord et al. 2017). Studies based on owner opinions reveal the most frequently reported problem behaviours include barking and jumping up (Adams and Clark, 1989;Marder et al., 2004), overexcitement and jumping up (Kobelt et al., 2003;Blackwell et al., 2008), fearfulness (Wells and Hepper, 2000 (although this study population consisted entirely of dogs that had been rehomed from an animal shelter)), pulling on the lead and attention seeking behaviours (Blackwell et al., 2008), and inappropriate toileting (Woodbury, 1998(Woodbury, , 1999. ...
... This is supported by findings from other studies that reported fewer behaviour problems and better obedience as reported by dog owners who used positive reinforcement (Hiby et al., 2004;Blackwell et al., 2008,), and increased fear, stress, aggressive reactions, problem behaviours and distraction during training by owners who used punishment based techniques with their dogs (Roll and Unshelm, 1997;Beerda et al., 1998;Hiby et al., 2004;Schilder and van der Borg, 2004;Schalke et al., 2007;Haverbeke et al., 2008;Herron et al., 2009;Casey et al., 2014;Cooper et al., 2014). Of course, it could be that owners of dogs with problem behaviours are more likely to use punishment-based methods (Arhant et al., 2010). Further investigation of longitudinal data provided by the 'Generation Pup' cohort will help to identify causality in the use of punishment-based training methods by owners who report problem behaviours in their dogs. ...
... Previous studies have reported lower rates of training and play activities for owners of small dogs compared to those who own larger dogs (Kobelt et al., 2003;Masters and McGreevy, 2008;Westgarth et al., 2008) as well as increased 'disobedience' and 'excitability' in smaller dogs (Bennett and Rohlf, 2007). It may be that more training effort is devoted by owners of larger dogs due to the safety risk if a dog of that size were to behave in an inappropriate manner (Arhant et al., 2010). This would be supported by findings from this study ( Table 7) that owners of small dogs had increased odds of not reporting a behaviour as a problem, despite providing evidence of this behaviour elsewhere in the questionnaire, as compared with owners with medium or large dogs. ...
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 and type of problem behaviours reported by owners when their dogs were 6 and 9-months; ii) identify risk factors for behaviours owners reported as a ‘problem’ when their dog was 9-months old; iii) identify risk factors for behaviours reported to occur but not recorded as a ‘problem’ by owners when dogs were 9-months old; and iv) identify whether and how owners sought help for undesired behaviours. In the 6 and 9-months questionnaires, 31 % and 35 % (respectively) of owners reported their dog to be showing behaviour(s) that they found a problem. Owners most often sought help for these behaviours from dog trainers (72 % at 6-months and 68 % at 9-months), and online sources excluding those associated with welfare organisations (which were listed separately) (34 % at 6-months and 27 % at 9-months). The most commonly reported problem behaviours at both ages were pulling on the lead, jumping up at people and poor recall. Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that female owners, owners who were unemployed/homemakers/pensioners/retired, owners who did not attend (nor planned to attend) puppy classes, and owners who reported they used a mixture of positive reinforcement and positive punishment or positive punishment only training methods at 9-months had increased odds of reporting a problem behaviour in their dogs at that age. Further investigation determined risk factors for owners reporting one or more of the three most commonly reported problem behaviours (pulling on the lead, jumping up at people and poor recall) in their dog’s 9-months questionnaire compared with those owners who separately recorded the occurrence of these behaviours, but did not report any to be problematic. Owners who were employed/self-employed/students, owners who reported that they used positive reinforcement only, owners that had not attended puppy class, and owners of small dogs had increased odds of not reporting a behaviour to be problematic despite evidence of the behaviour having been observed by the owner. These results indicate that not all potentially concerning canine behaviours were perceived by the owners to be problematic, and has identified groups of owners more likely to require support with behaviour issues in their dogs.
... Within a given training method, several factors may influence how dogs react, such as the characteristics of the behavior under training and the timing of reinforcement/punishment [4]. However, the use of aversive-based training methods per se is surrounded by a heated debate, as studies have linked them to compromised dog welfare [5][6][7][8][9][10]. Some aversive-based tools, such as shock collars, have indeed been legally banned in some countries [11]. ...
... Behavior coding. We developed two ethograms based on previous literature to record the frequency of different stress-related behaviors and the time spent in different behavioral states and panting during the training sessions [8,9,23]. The behaviors and their definitions are described in Tables 2 and 3. ...
... Notably, we found that the higher the proportion of aversive stimuli used in training, the greater the impact on the welfare of dogs (both within and outside the training context). This result is in line with the findings of a previous survey study, which showed that a higher frequency of punishment was correlated with higher anxiety and fear scores [8]. Still, in the present study, welfare differences were found even when comparing Groups Reward and Mixed, which used a lower proportion of intended aversive-based techniques as compared to Group Aversive. ...
Article
Full-text available
Dog training methods range broadly from those using mostly positive punishment and negative reinforcement (aversive-based) to those using primarily positive reinforcement (reward-based). Although aversive-based training has been strongly criticized for negatively affecting dog welfare, there is no comprehensive research focusing on companion dogs and mainstream techniques, and most studies rely on owner-reported assessment of training methods and dog behavior. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of aversive- and reward-based training methods on companion dog welfare within and outside the training context. Ninety-two companion dogs were recruited from three reward-based schools (Group Reward, n = 42), and from four aversive-based schools, two using low proportions of aversive-based methods (Group Mixed, n = 22) and two using high proportions of aversive-based methods (Group Aversive, n = 28). For evaluating welfare during training, dogs were video recorded for three sessions and six saliva samples were collected, three at home (baseline levels) and three after training (post-training levels). Video recordings were used to examine the frequency of stress-related behaviors (e.g., lip lick, yawn) and the overall behavioral state of the dog (e.g., tense, relaxed), and saliva samples were analyzed for cortisol concentration. For evaluating welfare outside the training context, dogs participated in a cognitive bias task. Results showed that dogs from Group Aversive displayed more stress-related behaviors, were more frequently in tense and low behavioral states and panted more during training, and exhibited higher post-training increases in cortisol levels than dogs from Group Reward. Additionally, dogs from Group Aversive were more ‘pessimistic’ in the cognitive bias task than dogs from Group Reward. Dogs from Group Mixed displayed more stress-related behaviors, were more frequently in tense states and panted more during training than dogs from Group Reward. Finally, although Groups Mixed and Aversive did not differ in their performance in the cognitive bias task nor in cortisol levels, the former displayed more stress-related behaviors and was more frequently in tense and low behavioral states. These findings indicate that aversive-based training methods, especially if used in high proportions, compromise the welfare of companion dogs both within and outside the training context.
... Within a given training method, several factors may influence how dogs react, such as the characteristics of the behavior under training and the timing of reinforcement/punishment [4]. However, the use of aversive-based training methods per se is surrounded by a heated debate, as studies have linked them to compromised dog welfare [5][6][7][8][9][10]. Some aversive-based tools, such as shock collars, have indeed been legally banned in some countries [11]. ...
... Behavior coding. We developed two ethograms based on previous literature to record the frequency of different stress-related behaviors and the time spent in different behavioral states and panting during the training sessions [8,9,23]. The behaviors and their definitions are described in Tables 2 and 3. ...
... Notably, we found that the higher the proportion of aversive stimuli used in training, the greater the impact on the welfare of dogs (both within and outside the training context). This result is in line with the findings of a previous survey study, which showed that a higher frequency of punishment was correlated with higher anxiety and fear scores [8]. Still, in the present study, welfare differences were found even when comparing Groups Reward and Mixed, which used a lower proportion of intended aversive-based techniques as compared to Group Aversive. ...
Article
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Dogs play an important role in our society as companions and work partners, and proper training of these dogs is pivotal. For companion dogs, training helps preventing or managing dog behavioral problems—the most frequently cited reason for relinquishing and euthanasia, and it promotes successful dog-human relationships and thus maximizes benefits humans derive from bonding with dogs. For working dogs, training is crucial for them to successfully accomplish their jobs. Dog training methods range widely from those using predominantly aversive stimuli (aversive methods), to those combining aversive and rewarding stimuli (mixed methods) and those focusing on the use of rewards (reward methods). The use of aversive stimuli in training is highly controversial and several veterinary and animal protection organizations have recommended a ban on pinch collars, e-collars and other techniques that induce fear or pain in dogs, on the grounds that such methods compromise dog welfare. At the same time, training methods based on the use of rewards are claimed to be more humane and equally or more effective than aversive or mixed methods. This important discussion, however, has not always been based in solid scientific evidence. Although there is growing scientific evidence that training with aversive stimuli has a negative impact on dog welfare, the scientific literature on the efficacy and efficiency of the different methodologies is scarce and inconsistent. Hence, the goal of the current study is to investigate the efficacy and efficiency of different dog training methods. To that end, we will apply different dog training methods in a population of working dogs and evaluate the outcome after a period of training. The use of working dogs will allow for a rigorous experimental design and control, with randomization of treatments. Military (n = 10) and police (n = 20) dogs will be pseudo-randomly allocated to two groups. One group will be trained to perform a set of tasks (food refusal, interrupted recall, dumbbell retrieval and placing items in a basket) using reward methods and the other group will be trained for the same tasks using mixed methods. Later, the dogs will perform a standardized test where they will be required to perform the trained behaviors. The reliability of the behaviors and the time taken to learn them will be assessed in order to evaluate the efficacy and efficiency, respectively, of the different training methods. This study will be performed in collaboration with the Portuguese Army and with the Portuguese Public Security Police (PSP) and integrated with their dog training programs.
... Conversely, the literature regarding the effects of pet ownership on pets has highlighted several critical aspects. Owners' previous experience and attitudes when acquiring a dog, training habits, consistency, level of engagement with the dog, and management choices are all associated with the development of behaviour problems in the animals [16,17]. The literature also indicates that cat owners' personalities and the access to hiding and climbing spots can affect animal welfare [18][19][20], although cats' psychological welfare and the role of the social environment are largely understudied [20,21]. ...
... However, dogs are also able to discriminate emotional facial expressions [53] and tend towards avoidance when humans have negative or neutral facial expressions [54]. In addition, inconsistency in owner behaviour negatively affects dogs' welfare [17]. This could also be the case for cats, although, to our knowledge, the same phenomenon has not been investigated in cats yet, so this could also be the case for this species. ...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic caused lifestyle changes, with unknown effect on pets’ quality of life (QoL). Between May and July 2020, we distributed an online survey to investigate the role of several factors on feline and canine QoL, including lockdown-related factors. We used existing scales to measure human and pets’ personalities (Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory Personality Questionnaire, RST-PQ; RST-Dog; RST-Cat) and the human–animal relationship (Lexington Attachment to Pets Scale, LAPS) and the Milan Pet Quality of Life instrument (MPQL). Overall, 235 participants reported about 242 adult pets (Ncats = 78, Ndogs = 164). Factor analysis confirmed the structure and internal reliability of the existing scales (RST-PQ, RST-Dog, RST-Cat, LAPS) and suggested a four-factor structure for the MPQL (physical, psychological, social, environmental). The results indicate that the pets’ psysical QoL was largely explained by pet-related elements (pets’ demographics and life experience, and pets’ personality). Conversely, the pets’ psychological QoL was explained mostly by owner-related elements, such as the owners’ demographics, COVID-19-related changes, and the owners’ personality. Predictably, the pets’ environmental QoL is mostly explained by environmental factors, such as the outdoor access in the home environment and the country. Finally, the pets’ social QoL was explained by the larger combination of models: pets’ characteristics and personality, environment and COVID-19-related changes, and the pet–human relationship. These findings can be explained by two non-mutually exclusive mechanisms. The reported changes may be a by-product of the COVID-19 pandemic’s psychological and lifestyle effects on the owners, which in turn alter the way the owners interact with their pets and look after them. However, the owners’ characteristics and mood may bias their answers regarding their pets.
... Lindsay [15] and Rajecki et al. [16] suggest that owners use punishments when problem behaviours are ascribed to internal motivations, e.g., an internal emotional drive, such as spite. As punishment-based training methods are implicated in poor canine welfare [17][18][19], understanding factors linked to canine emotional attributions is therefore potentially important in identifying dogs at risk of poor welfare. ...
... Whether owners with these personality traits are more likely to own dogs with undesirable behaviours, inciting the use of positive punishment, or vice versa, is unclear. The prospect that the current findings may imply EA as a potential risk factor for the use of training techniques linked to poor canine welfare [17] merits further investigation to identify dogs at risk due to their owner's beliefs. This confirms the need for the nascent science of dogmanship [60] to pay as much attention to human personality as it does to dog behaviour [61]. ...
Article
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Assumptions about dogs’ personality are influenced by their appearance, which may lead to differences in ownership styles and subsequent canine welfare. The influence of canine appearance on observers’ emotion attributions to dogs remains largely unexplored. This study investigated whether canine head shape is related to how both dog owners and non-dog owning adults in the U.K. attribute emotions to still images of dogs, and in the case of dog owners, to their own dogs. Attachment, respondent personality and dog trainability were assessed as potential influences on emotional attribution in owners. Overall, 2451 participant responses were received. Still images of mesocephalic dogs were attributed primary and positively valenced emotion with more strength and frequency than other groups. Mesocephalic images were also attributed negatively valenced emotions less frequently and with less strength than other groups. Apart from empathy, no significant differences were found in emotional attribution to owned dogs of different head shapes; however, human personality influenced attribution of emotions to owned dogs. The finding that some dogs are attributed emotions more readily based on their appearance alone has applied importance, given, for example, the potential for misattribution of positive emotions to dogs in negative emotional states, and potential prejudice against dogs considered in negative emotional states.
... Compared to adult dogs, puppies are more likely to evoke our nurturing instinct and more quickly and easily form a stronger attachment with humans [7,8]. Smaller dogs are generally perceived as less obedient, more anxious, fearful, excitable and aggressive [9], while larger dogs are thought to be more cooperative and playful [10]. Dogs with wider heads are more likely to display self-grooming but less likely to chase [11]. ...
... A higher score of factor H represented a higher satisfaction of the walk. Walker's perception of dog factor (Factor D) utilised responses to questions 1,7,8,9,12,13. A higher score of factor D indicated that the dog was considered more supportive and better behaved. ...
Article
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Inappropriate leash reactivity is one of the most common problems in shelter dogs, which negatively affects the health of dogs and reduces their adoptability. We explored 370 human-dog interactions, involving 74 volunteers and 111 dogs, in an animal shelter when volunteers walked shelter dogs on a leash, considering the effects of canine demographics and the results of the shelter’s canine behavioural assessments. The interaction was video recorded and coded using ethograms, and a leash tension meter was used to measure the pull strength of dogs and handlers. Results showed that dogs that were more relaxed during the shelter assessment (i.e., when socialising with humans or being left alone in a new environment) were less reactive on the leash, with lower tension and pulling frequency. Moreover, socialised and relaxed dogs displayed more positive body language, such as tail in a high position, gazing at the handler, and exploring the environment. When walking with these dogs, volunteers utilised fewer verbal cues and body language during the walk. In addition to the canine behaviour assessment, there were correlations between canine demographics and the behavioural interaction and humans’ perception. Finally, volunteers perceived the walk as less satisfactory when they needed to pull the leash harder during the walk. This research suggests that the RSPCA behavioural assessment may be useful in predicting the behaviour of shelter dogs when walked by volunteers.
... Many studies that link an inverse relationship between UBs and body size rely on owners' reports of UBs [36,37]. It has been proposed that UBs are more likely to be tolerated by owners in small dogs than large ones [37,79] and that smaller dogs may be perceived by their owners as more aggressive, excitable, anxious, fearful and disobedient [79]. However, another study, where an inverse relationship between UBs and body size was also reported, relied upon the reports of trained observers and yielded very similar results [38]. ...
... Many studies that link an inverse relationship between UBs and body size rely on owners' reports of UBs [36,37]. It has been proposed that UBs are more likely to be tolerated by owners in small dogs than large ones [37,79] and that smaller dogs may be perceived by their owners as more aggressive, excitable, anxious, fearful and disobedient [79]. However, another study, where an inverse relationship between UBs and body size was also reported, relied upon the reports of trained observers and yielded very similar results [38]. ...
Article
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Undesirable behaviours (UBs) in dogs are common and important issues with serious potential welfare consequences for both the dogs and their owners. This study aimed to investigate the usage of drug therapy for UBs in dogs and assess demographic risk factors for drug-prescribed UBs within the dog population under primary-care veterinary care in the UK in 2013. Dogs receiving drug therapy for UB were identified through the retrospective analysis of anonymised electronic patient records in VetCompass™. Risk factor analysis used multivariable logistic regression modelling. The study population comprised 103,597 dogs under veterinary care in the UK during 2013. There were 413 drug-prescribed UBs recorded among 404 dogs. The prevalence of dogs with at least one UB event treated with a drug in 2013 was 0.4%. Multivariable modelling identified 3 breeds with increased odds of drug-prescribed UB compared with crossbred dogs: Toy Poodle (OR 2.75), Tibetan Terrier (OR 2.68) and Shih-tzu (OR 1.95). Increasing age was associated with increased odds of drug-prescribed UB, with dogs ≥ 12 years showing 3.1 times the odds compared with dogs < 3 years. Neutered males (OR 1.82) and entire males (OR 1.50) had increased odds compared with entire females. The relatively low prevalence of dogs with at least one UB event that was treated with a drug in 2013 could suggest that opportunities for useful psychopharmaceutical intervention in UBs may be being missed in first opinion veterinary practice. While bodyweight was not a significant factor, the 3 individual breeds at higher odds of an UB treated with a behaviour modifying drug all have a relatively low average bodyweight. The current results also support previous research of a male predisposition to UBs and it is possible that this higher risk resulted in the increased likelihood of being prescribed a behaviour modifying drug, regardless of neuter status.
... The results do not show a clear pattern that owners of larger or more energetic dogs were more active than owners of dog breeds that are smaller or less energetic. This contradicts earlier findings [29,31,32,34,36]. It indicates that just the size and energy level of a dog breed are insufficient to predict how much PA the owner will engage in with and without their dog. ...
... For example, (rally)obedience was mostly performed by owners of medium to large breed dogs, especially owners of BC, ROTT and BSD. Arhant et al. report that owners of larger dogs are more likely to be engaged in this activity [34]. Especially, owners of ROTT and BSD might perform these activities because they might be afraid that their dogs are strong enough to harm other people and need to be "under the control" of the owner. ...
Article
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Dog ownership contributes positively to physical activity (PA). The impact of different dog breeds and age on PA is less investigated in longitudinal studies. This study aimed to evaluate PA changes in dog owners as their dogs' ages increased and to explore whether there are differences in PA between owners of different breeds over a three-year period. Owners of different dog breeds were categorized into nine groups according to the perceived energy level and size of the breed. PA was monitored using an online questionnaire for three consecutive years. Linear mixed models (LMM) showed a small, but significant decrease in total PA, leisure time walking, dog-related PA and dog walking over three years. No decreases were found if only participants who attended at all time points were included. In all LMM analyses, a significant relationship between the dog breed and the outcomes of PA were shown. At baseline, dog owners performed different types of activities depending on their dog breed. In conclusion, owners of different dog breeds differ in their types of PA. The study emphasizes that age, size and energy level of the dog does not per se have an impact on dog owners PA. Citation: Hielscher-Zdzieblik, B.; Froboese, I.; Serpell, J.; Gansloßer, U. Impact of Dog's Age and Breed on Dog Owner's Physical Activity: A German Longitudinal Study.
... A higher popularity of small dogs might be related to a lower need for exercise [6], lower maintenance costs [11], and size restrictions set by a landlord [38]. Although smaller dogs were reported to show more unfavourable behaviour such as disobedience, excitement [39][40][41], and aggression [39], people may perceive these behavioural problems as less severe, more manageable, and tolerable in smaller dogs [6]. However, in our study, the size correlated with the breed. ...
... A higher popularity of small dogs might be related to a lower need for exercise [6], lower maintenance costs [11], and size restrictions set by a landlord [38]. Although smaller dogs were reported to show more unfavourable behaviour such as disobedience, excitement [39][40][41], and aggression [39], people may perceive these behavioural problems as less severe, more manageable, and tolerable in smaller dogs [6]. However, in our study, the size correlated with the breed. ...
Article
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To identify characteristics that distinguish long-term (LT: stay > 1 year) from short-term shelter dogs (ST: ≤5 months) and to investigate if a long-term stay impairs welfare, we compared ST and LT dogs in Austrian no-kill shelters. Analyses including characteristics such as breed, sex, or age (shelter records), problem behaviour, and personality (questionnaires completed by staff) showed that LT dogs were significantly more often a “dangerous breed”, male, and older when admitted to the shelter. They were rated higher on “aggression” and “high arousal” and lower on the personality dimension “amicability”. A welfare assessment protocol including reaction toward humans (Shelter Quality Protocol), and in-kennel observations were used to assess the effect of the long-term stay. LT dogs tended to show more signs of aggression toward an unfamiliar human, but welfare assessment revealed no difference. During resting periods, LT dogs spent more time resting head up and had more bouts resting head down. Prior to feeding, they stood, vocalised, and yawned more. LT dogs are characterised by specific features such as being aroused easily and having difficulties to relax. Whether this is a result of the long-term stay or personality-associated, consequently causing lower adoption rates, remains to be determined.
... Given experience plays an important role in the development of behaviour, including dog-owner interactions e.g. [43][44][45], it is also possible that brachycephalic breeds are not intrinsically predisposed to behave differently to dogs with longer muzzles; but that owners consciously or unconsciously treat them differently, which results in differing reports in observed behaviours. ...
Article
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Brachycephalic breeds are proliferating internationally, with dramatic rises in popularity juxtaposed with common and severe breed-related health problems. Physical appearance is as a dominant factor attracting owners to brachycephalic breeds; however, whether these owners will choose their current breed for future ownership and develop ‘breed-loyalty’ in the face of health problems is not yet known. The aims of this study were (1) to quantify levels of, and explore factors associated with, brachycephalic dog owners’ intentions to: (i) reacquire and/or (ii) recommend their current breed to potential first-time dog owners, and (2) to use qualitative methods to explore why brachycephalic dog owners would or would not recommend their current breed. This large mixed methods study reports on 2168 owners of brachycephalic breeds (Pugs: n = 789; French Bulldog: n = 741; Bulldogs: n = 638). Owners were highly likely to want to own their breed again in the future (93.0%) and recommend their breed to other owners (65.5%). Statistical modelling identified that first-time ownership and increased strength of the dog-owner relationship increased the likelihood of reacquisition and/or recommendation. In contrast, an increased number of health problems, positive perception of their dog’s health compared with the rest of their breed, and dog behaviour being worse than expected decreased the likelihood of reacquisition and/or recommendation. Thematic analyses constructed three themes describing why owners recommend their breed: positive behavioural attributes for a companion dog, breed suited to a sedentary lifestyle with limited space, and suitability for households with children. Five themes described why owners recommended against their breed: high prevalence of health problems, expense of ownership, ethical and welfare issues associated with breeding brachycephalic dogs, negative effects upon owner lifestyle and negative behavioural attributes. Understanding how breed-loyalty develops, and whether it can be attenuated, will be key to controlling the current population boom in brachycephalic breeds in the long-term.
... Studies using owner reports of training methods and dog behaviour showed higher aggression and/or excitability with more punishment used (Arhant et al. 2010;Casey et al. 2014) and lower aggression and/or over-excitement associated with reward-based methods (Herron et al. 2009;Hiby et al. 2004), although the direction of causality cannot be determined. Again, these studies do not focus specifically on dog EFs, but excitability might be a measure of inhibition, as dogs fail to inhibit inappropriate motor responses such as jumping up or pulling on the lead. ...
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Executive functions (EFs) are a set of cognitive processes used for effortful self-regulation of behaviour. They include inhibition, working memory, cognitive flexibility and, in some models, attention. In humans, socioeconomic factors and life experiences shape development of EFs. Domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) must often regulate their behaviour in the human environment (e.g. no jumping up on humans or chasing cats), and life experiences also probably influence the development of EFs in dogs. Research into dog cognition and behaviour has been thriving, and some methods used to explore these concepts (e.g. object-choice task, questionnaires measuring traits like distraction and aggression) are likely to be sensitive to differences in EFs, even if that is not their stated aim. Here we examine relevant studies to identify experiential factors which may influence the development of EFs in dogs living in human care. These are early experience, training, housing and stress. We conclude that the development of dogs’ EFs may be negatively affected by hardships, and positively by surmountable challenges, early in life. Training methods appear important, with punishment-based methods leading to poorer dog EFs. Kennel environments seem to affect dog EFs negatively. While mild stressors might enhance the development of EFs, too much stress seems to have negative effects. Regulation of behaviour, a key outcome of EFs, is crucial for dogs’ integration into human society. We should, therefore, strive to better understand how the environment shapes dogs’ EFs.
... This was seen in frequent owner to dog command giving relating to the dog's growling, snarling, snapping in response to the approach of a threatening stranger (Cimarelli et al., 2016). It was also seen in inconsistency in the owner-dog interactions relating to lower levels of dog obedience (Arhant et al., 2010). Lesser obedience in turn related to lesser dog ownership satisfaction and higher perceived costs of owning the dog, which may increase chances of dog relinquishment (Van Herwijnen et al., 2018a). ...
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Dogs need to adapt to a human environment to enhance their welfare and to avoid risks of undesired dog behaviour and relinquishment. Crucial to this adaptation may be how an owner interacts with the dog. Owner–dog interactions may be influenced by the human caregiving system with regard to how care, protection and resources are provided. This narrative review discusses how a consideration of the human caregiving system can benefit owner–dog interactions. Literature suggests that the human caregiving system and parenting styles could influence owner–dog interactions. Owner–dog education may improve these interactions. However, studies on owner–dog education present mixed outcomes for the dog. Also, only a few studies address owner outcomes, indicating a gap that needs filling. It is concluded that, when intervening in owner–dog interactions, more attention should be directed to aspects of human psychology. Dog-directed parenting styles can form one strategy as to improve owner–dog interactions and dog welfare.
... Regarding raisers' training consistency, the current findings extend beyond the existing literature, which mostly concerns the welfare and effectiveness of various training methods and techniques [25,45,46]. One common feature in the dog training literature is the importance of consistency in training on behavioural learning in animals generally [45], and dogs specifically [47]. In puppy raising programs, raisers should closely and consistently follow instructions from their program provider. ...
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Many assistance dog providers use volunteer raisers to manage each puppy’s learning and daily experiences, which partly determines the puppy’s behavioural development. Therefore, it is important that raisers engage in recommended practices. Three common recommendations from the literature include frequent socialisation and consistent training for the puppies, and effective training for the raisers. However, what facilitates or hinders raisers’ engagement in these practices remains unclear. To understand this, we interviewed eight raisers (three men and five women) every month during their year-long puppy raising program, and pseudo-randomly selected 16 from 48 interviews for data analysis. Thematic analyses revealed several facilitating and/or hindering factors corresponding to each of the three recommended practices. Frequent socialisation was influenced by the raisers’ availability, sharing of puppy raising responsibility with others, support from their workplace, and the puppy’s behaviours (e.g., soiling indoors, jumping). Consistent training was challenged by the presence of everyday distractors, accessibility to timely advice, perceived judgement from others, and the puppy’s undesirable behaviours. Effective learning was facilitated by having information available in raisers’ preferred learning modality, opportunities for peer-learning, and willingness to seek help. Future research should examine these factors quantitatively, which will enable more robust evaluation of programs aimed at supporting puppy raisers.
... Interestingly, owners handle small dogs differently than larger dogs, which can partly explain the higher proportion of behaviour problems in smaller dogs. Owners of small dogs play with and obedience train their dogs less frequently than owners of large dogs 37,38 , and small dogs are also less often house-trained 39 . We speculate that small size can make a dog easier to control even when they act aggressively, and people do not necessary feel threatened by small dogs. ...
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Aggressive behaviour is an unwanted and serious problem in pet dogs, negatively influencing canine welfare, management and public acceptance. We aimed to identify demographic and environmental factors associated with aggressive behaviour toward people in Finnish purebred pet dogs. We collected behavioural data from 13,715 dogs with an owner-completed online questionnaire. Here we used a dataset of 9270 dogs which included 1791 dogs with frequent aggressive behaviour toward people and 7479 dogs without aggressive behaviour toward people. We studied the effect of several explanatory variables on aggressive behaviour with multiple logistic regression. Several factors increased the probability of aggressive behaviour toward people: older age, being male, fearfulness, small body size, lack of conspecific company, and being the owner’s first dog. The probability of aggressive behaviour also differed between breeds. These results replicate previous studies and suggest that improvements in the owner education and breeding practices could alleviate aggressive behaviour toward people while genetic studies could reveal associated hereditary factors.
... The great within-breed variability in our C-BARQ scores is in line with other studies (e.g. Duffy et al., 2008;Serpell and Duffy, 2014) and confirms that a dog propensity to exhibit a certain behaviour does not depend just on the breed, but also on individual differences and environmental factors such as proper socialization, the type of training received and the type of dog-owner relationship (Bennett and Rohlf, 2007;Arhant et al., 2010). Ott et al. (2008) compared 6 dog breeds considered as dangerous (e.g. ...
Article
Through domestication and subsequent selection dogs’ morphological and behavioural traits have been selected for functional purposes beyond companionship. Since dogs are kept as pets worldwide and live in close contact with humans, gathering information on the behavioural characteristics of breeds either potentially problematic or obtained through hybridization appears particularly relevant. In the current study, the C-BARQ questionnaire was used to examine the behaviour of the Czechoslovakian wolfdog, a recent breed obtained through hybridization of the Carpathian wolf and the German shepherd dog and rapidly growing in popularity. One thousand four hundred twenty owners, 1119 from Italy and 301 from the Czech Republic completed the online questionnaire providing data on Czechoslovakian wolfdogs (CWDs), their sister breed, i.e. German shepherd dogs (GSs), and Labrador retrievers (LRs). Overall some behavioural differences among the breeds emerged together with discrepancies between Italian and Czech owners in the evaluation of some behavioural traits. Italian owners outlined only a few breeds and/or sex differences. Regardless of breed and training male dogs were rated as more aggressive towards other dogs, more excitable and active, more prone to show attention-seeking behaviour, less trainable, and less prone than females to engage in chasing than females. CWDs showed less stranger-directed fear than GSs and LRs and less non-social fear than GSs. According to Czech owners, males were generally more aggressive than females and CWDs and GSs were significantly more aggressive towards strangers and other dogs than LRs. CWDs showed more stranger-directed fear and separation-related behaviour and were less trainable than both GSs and LRs. The training was generally reported to reduce aggressive and separation-related behaviour, fear of strangers and non-social stimuli, and chasing tendencies. Taken together these findings suggest that CWDs could be more similar to ancient breeds (more wolf-like) for some behavioural traits and like modern breeds for others. Different breeding practices and/or social/environmental conditions such as socialization, handling, training methods but also owners’ perceptions and expectations about a given breed could explain the differences in rating that emerged between the two countries.
... It is possible that owners with higher levels of openness utilized novel training ideologies, such as positive reinforcement, prior to attending the behavior service. Dog owners who scored lower in openness may have relied on historic training methods based on forceful methods and positive punishment, which have been associated with increased fear (56)(57)(58). This hypothetical difference in training methods may have affected the potential for behavioral change following veterinary intervention. ...
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Human and canine parameters can affect the development of canine behavior problems, although their influence on the dog's response to veterinary behavioral treatment remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate the possible associations between canine behavior following clinical intervention and canine demographic characteristics, owner personality and owner-dog attachment. The study included 131 dog-owner dyads who attended a veterinary behavioral service. Owners completed the C-BARQ at baseline, 3-months and 6-months, and the 10 Item Personality Inventory and Lexington Attachment to Pet Scale at baseline. Data were analyzed for the effect of clinical intervention on C-BARQ subscale scores using mixed effect models. Binary logistic regression models were used to analyze the association between behavior change and canine and owner parameters. Within 6-months of veterinary consultation, trainability increased (coefficient 0.03, p = 0.01) and chasing (coefficient −0.04, p = 0.02), separation-related behavior (coefficient −0.04, p = 0.01) and energy level (coefficient −0.04, p = 0.05) decreased. Treatment outcomes were associated with both canine and owner variables. Canine behavior at baseline was the most consistent predictor of behavior change with less desirable baseline behavior associated with greater odds of decreased problem behavior at three- and 6-months post-consultation across most C-BARQ subscales. Canine age and weight; owner conscientiousness, extraversion and openness; and owner-dog attachment were also associated with treatment outcomes for some behavioral categories. These findings could be used by veterinarians to formulate more accurate prognoses and provide owners with targeted advice to reduce the influence of background factors on the dog's response to clinical behavioral intervention.
... Despite their unique guarding efficiency, Tatras indirectly contribute to the green grazing of sheep (RADZIK-RANT & WOJNARSKA 2008;CHODZEÑ 2014;FCI 2017). The main features that predispose them to this type of work are endurance, strength, courage, distrust of strangers, resistance to various weather conditions, good hearing and sight, and a welldeveloped defensive instinct (ARHANT et al. 2010;HAVERBEKE et al. 2010). ...
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The aim of the study was the analysis of the structure of the population, relationship coefficients, and inbreeding trends in terms of: sex, breeding system, and inbreeding degree of Tatra Shepherd dogs. The breed's inbreeding rate was 6.34%, and for a standardised 4-generation population was 6.68%. The highest inbreeding rate was found in "non-champion-dogs" and in "Polish dog" groups consisting of males and females. The limit value F X was exceeded for 25.65% of Tatra dogs, and the critical value was exceeded for 11.52%. An increasing ancestor loss coefficient (AVK) was found, which may result in an increased number of inbred animals. In particular, this referred to female dogs in the nCH, PL, and Z groups, whereas a significant increase of AVK was observed in the group of male dogs from foreign kennels. The resulting COR values were 55.58% for males and 55.44% for females.
... Earlier, it was reported that owner's attitude can be different towards particular breeds (e.g. Arhant et al., 2010) what could have affected their behaviour in a test situation like ours. ...
Article
Adult dogs show similar behaviour pattern towards their owners as human infants towards their caregivers among experimental conditions, where the attachment behaviour is activated because of the moderately stressful situation. Meanwhile the capacity to form attachment towards the owner is considered as part of the domestication history of dogs, in more recent times dogs were selected for often very different work-related behavioural phenotypes. For instance, ‘cooperative’ dog breeds, like shepherd dogs, typically work in visual contact with the handler, while the ‘independent’ breeds, such as the hounds or sled dogs, work independently. We investigated whether cooperative and non-cooperative working dogs would also show different patterns in their attachment behaviour. We tested independent (N = 29) and cooperative (N = 28) dogs from various working breeds in the Strange Situation Test. To describe the subjects’ behaviour, we used a scoring system with three main factors (Attachment, Acceptance, Anxiety). We did not find any significant between-group difference in the attachment pattern of the two main working dog types (Attachment: P = 0.499; Anxiety P = 0.200; Acceptance P = 0.339). Within-breed differences may be stronger than between-breed differences in this situation, while it is also possible that owners of different breeds handle their dogs differently. Our results support the theory that attachment to the owner is a fundamentally similar feature in socialized dogs, and subsequent functional breed selection may rather influence the more specific behavioural phenotypes of dogs.
... These measures are important because higher levels of owner-reported disobedience and destructiveness are associated with lower training engagement (Bennett and Rohlf 2007). Furthermore, increased aggression and excitability correlate with more frequent use of punishment from owners (Arhant et al. 2010). Given the association between these characteristics and training engagement and methods, we investigated whether these characteristics extend to predicting training success. ...
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Teaching owners how to train their dogs is an important part of maintaining the health and safety of dogs and people. Yet we do not know what behavioral characteristics of dogs and their owners are relevant to dog training or if owner cognitive abilities play a role in training success. The aim of this study is to determine which characteristics of both dogs and owners predict success in completing the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen training program. Before the first session of a dog training course, owners completed surveys evaluating the behavior and cognition of their dog and themselves. Additionally, we collected the dogs’ initial training levels via behavioral tasks. We then examined what factors predicted whether the dogs passed the Canine Good Citizen test after the class ended. In terms of dog characteristics, we found that, while dog age, sex and neuter status did not predict success, owner-rated levels of disobedience did predict completion of the program. In terms of owner characteristics, owners who scored higher on cognitive measures were more likely to have their dogs complete the program. Finally, dog–owner characteristics such as the time spent training predicted success. Thus, characteristics of the dogs, owners, and how they interact seem to predict training success. These findings suggest that there are some owner, dog, and dog–owner characteristics that can facilitate or hinder dog training.
... Podberscek and Serpell [58] found a link between the type of training method and the appearance of undesirable behavior in dogs. Blackwell et al. [57] and Arhant et al. [59] found a negative correlation between training and unfriendly behavior toward both familiar and unfamiliar persons. It was found that giving punishment and reward technique would have resulted in the highest mean frequency of aggression due to the inconsistency technique. ...
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Objective: This study was carried out to study the influence of gender, neuter status, and training method on police dog narcotics olfaction performance, behavior, and welfare. Materials and methods: A total of 120 German Shepherds aged 1-3 years were used for this study. The dogs were separated into two experiments. The first experiment (32 dogs and 28 bitches) was used to study the influence of gender on olfaction and smell to narcotics in police dog performance and training methods with behavioral problems and welfare. The second experiment (30 dogs and 30 bitches) was used to study the influence of sexual status (entire or neutered) on the smelling of narcotics in police dog performance by comparing with intact dogs and bitches. Results: We found that there were significant differences in sex in training to detect narcotics. Male German Shepherds were found to be significantly more trainable than females. Neutering causes a difference in trainability in male and female dogs. Gonadectomy had adverse effects on training. The intact male and female German Shepherds were found to be significantly more trainable than the neutered ones, and the reward-based method was found to be significantly more trainable than punishment. Dog training methods incorporated by punishment result in pain, suffering, emotional instability, symptoms of depression, aggression, unwanted barking, growling at other people, not under control all time, less trainability, increased problematic behavior, and decreased dog welfare. Conclusion: Reward-based method is associated with lower lousy behavior and dogs with good behavior, such as, attachment attention behavior, dogs under the control of handler all times, higher trainability, less problematic behavior, and increased dog welfare.
... These measures are important because higher levels of ownerreported disobedience and destructiveness are associated with lower training engagement (Bennett & Rohlf, 2007). Furthermore, increased aggression and excitability correlate with more frequent use of punishment from owners (Arhant et al., 2010). Given the association between these characteristics and training engagement and methods, we investigated whether these characteristics extend to predicting training success. ...
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Teaching owners how to train their dogs is an important part of maintaining the health and safety of dogs and people. Yet we do not know what behavioral and cognitive features of dogs and owners are relevant to dog obedience. The aim of this study is to determine which characteristics of both dogs and owners predict success in completing the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen training program. To investigate this question, we collected survey data about dogs and their owners---as well as dog salivary cortisol levels and behavioral data---before the first session of a dog obedience training course. We then examined what behavioral and cognitive factors predicted whether the dogs passed the Canine Good Citizen test after the class ended. In terms of dog characteristics, we found that, while dog age, sex and neuter status did not predict success, the behavioral trait of disobedience did predict completion of the program. In terms of owner characteristics, owners with higher levels of cognitive ability were more likely to have their dogs complete the program. Finally, dog-owner characteristics such as the time spent training and the dog's response to a sit command predicted success. Some of the same characteristics, including disobedience and time spent training, also predicted dog impulsivity levels. Thus, both behavioral and cognitive characteristics of the dogs, owners, and how they interact seem to predict obedience class success and dog impulsivity. These findings suggest that there are some owner and dog-owner traits that can facilitate or hinder obedience training.
... The converse, that punishment-based methods increased the odds of aggression may explain this finding. In support of this contention, it has been found that more frequent use of punishment is associated with increased aggression and excitability [26]. Additionally, the use of punishment when training dogs has been found to be related to an increase in both fear and aggression [7]. ...
Article
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An online survey about puppy training was sent to members of the Center for Canine Behavior Studies and posted on our social media platforms. Six hundred forty-one (641) qualifying owners provided information on 1023 dogs. About half (48%) of the dogs involved in the study attended puppy training and the balance (52%) did not. The goal of the study was to find out whether puppy training at various ages (1-3 months, 4 months, 5-6 months) helped prevent behavior problems later in life (≥1 year). Attending training at 6 months of age or younger resulted in 0.71 the odds of developing aggressive behavior (95% CI: 0.53-0.97; p = 0.030), 0.64 the odds of having a compulsive behavior (95% CI: 0.45-0.92; p = 0.015), 0.60 the odds of exhibiting destructive behavior (95% CI: 0.37-0.96; p = 0.035), 0.68 the odds of excessive barking (95% CI: 0.47-0.99; p = 0.043), and 1.56 the odds of house soiling (95% CI: 1.08-2.27; p = 0.019). Ancillary findings about the entire study population were that dogs acquired at 12 weeks of age or younger were found to have 0.65 the odds of fear/anxiety (95% CI: 0.46-0.92; p = 0.016) and 0.50 the odds of exhibiting destructive behavior (95% CI: 0.31-0.79; p = 0.003). In addition, male dogs were found to have 0.68 the odds of developing aggressive behavior (95% CI: 0.53-0.88; p = 0.003), 0.66 the odds of developing compulsive behavior (95% CI: 0.49-0.88; p = 0.006), 0.37 the odds of mounting/humping (95% CI: 0.26-0.52; p < 0.001), and 1.53 the odds of rolling in repulsive materials (95% CI: 1.18-1.97; p = 0.001). Neutered dogs of either sex were found to have 3.10 the odds of fear/anxiety (95% CI: 2.05-4.72; p < 0.001), 1.97 the odds of escaping/running away (95% CI: 1.12-3.69; p = 0.025), 2.01 the odds of exhibiting coprophagia (95% CI 1.30-3.19; p = 0.002), and 1.72 the odds of rolling in repulsive materials (95% CI: 1.12-2.66; p = 0.014). The odds of problematic jumping deceased by 0.84 for each 1-year increase in age (95% CI: 0.80-0.88; p < 0.001).
... This interpretation is possible, but perhaps not likely, given that the same type of speech was associated with a greater duration of tail wagging. Therefore, an alternative-and possibly more sensible-interpretation would be that this result reflects a response not from dogs, but from trainers, who may have used neutral speech for longer when dogs were not directing their attention to them [32,66]. The same rationale can be used to understand the negative correlation between the duration of trainers' orientation to dogs and the number of cues responded to, and the positive correlation between the time trainers spent oriented to dogs and their latency to respond to them. ...
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The inclusion of life history as a possible influential factor is pivotal in studies on behavior, welfare, and cognition. Shelter dogs have usually experienced a life involving poor social interactions with humans. Thus, we aimed to investigate the behavioral responses of shelter dogs (SDs) and companion dogs (CDs) during the training of two vocal cues (“sit”, “paw”), as well as the possible associations between their responses and the behaviors of trainers. We studied 15 SDs and 15 CDs in up to eight five-minute training sessions. Dogs’ and trainers’ behaviors were recorded and analyzed (through GLM, GLMM, correlation and Mann–Whitney tests). Shelter dogs responded to more cues per session, with shorter latencies and fewer repetitions of cues. Moreover, SDs spent more time wagging their tails. Dogs’ sex and trainers’ behaviors were also associated with differences in dogs’ responses. The use of a reproachful tone of voice was associated with a greater number of cues responded to, shorter latencies, and fewer repetitions of cues. However, this type voice/discourse was also linked to a greater exhibition of non-training behaviors (e.g., exploring the room or jumping on the trainer), and to dogs spending less time next to the trainer and wagging their tails. On the other hand, the use of a neutral tone of voice and laughter, besides being linked to performance, was also associated with longer durations of tail wagging. Furthermore, the duration of the trainers’ orientation to dogs was correlated with the orientation of the dogs to the trainers. Our data suggest that, even when having experienced social deprivation from humans, SDs’ capacities to learn vocal cues were preserved, possibly due to ontogenic homeostasis processes. Shelter dogs’ greater interest in the sessions may be also credited to their socially-deprived routine. Our outcomes also point to an association between friendly interactions during training and dog performance and excitement, which suggests that such interactions may have the potential to improve SD welfare.
... In another study focused on serotonin evaluation in dogs, Alberghina et al. [24] found that higher levels of 5-HT were seen in the 3-7 years age group, compared to other age groups, but no significant age-related dissimilarities were found. In the case of dogs, their behavior is influenced by genetics, epigenetics, and environmental factors [25]. There is strong evidence that breeds differ in terms of their behavior [26][27][28][29][30]. ...
Article
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Serotonin is considered to be the neurotransmitter that controls several types of behavior: aggressiveness, impulsivity, food selection, stimulation, sexual behavior, reaction to pain, and emotional manifestations. The aim of this study was to determine the serotonin values in 43 dogs, divided into three different experimental variants: (1) between two groups of medium (n = 6) and small (n = 4) breed shelter dogs; (2) in dogs with (n = 15) and without (n = 10) owners after administration of pre-spaying/neutering anesthesia; (3) in different behavioral states (n = 8) classified as follows: M1—happy, M2—aggressive, M3—calmed status, post-exposure to a stressful situation, compared to the reference time referred to as M0. There were no significant differences (p ≥ 0.05) regarding the serotonin values between the two groups of medium and small breed shelter dogs. Following anesthesia, the average mean serotonin values were significantly lower (p ≤ 0.003), by 63.85 ng/mL, in stray dogs compared to dogs with owners. No significant differences (p ≥ 0.05) were found when comparing the reference time M0 to M1, M2, and M3. The differences decreased significantly (p ≤ 0.05), by 89.61 ng/mL, between M1 and M2 and increased significantly (p ≤ 0.008), by 112.78 ng/mL, between M2 and M3.
... utro animal sendo a vocalização excessiva e os comportamentos destrutivos os sinais mais frequentes da ansiedade de separação em cães(APPLEBY e PLUIJMAKERS, 2003). Segundo a grande maioria dos tutores (80,4%), os cães são de pequeno e médio porte. O porte dos cães é um fator que pode influenciar na predominância de alguns comportamentos indesejados(ARHANT et. al. 2010), pois os tutores de cães de pequeno porte tendem a dar mais liberdade e lidam com a obediência de forma menos rigorosa comparado aos tutores de cães de grande porte.Foi perceptível mudanças de comportamentos dos gatos, sendo a maior delas mordidas e arranhões (48,3%), seguida de ganho de peso (37,9%), demonstração de medo (34,5%), urina ...
... A previous study surveyed cat owners at a single clinic to explore frequency of inappropriate scratching and intervention methods, and found that punishment (such as yelling, using a spray bottle, physical correction, and using loud noises) did not deter scratching from off-limit items, while placing the cat near the desired scratching object decreased scratching-related damage [7]. Similar findings of positive punishment methods being associated with the performance of undesirable behaviors (e.g., aggression) have been observed in both cats [33] and dogs [34][35][36][37][38]. Positive reinforcement training has been determined as the best practice and when used for cats, it has been found to result in a faster reaction time for the desired response [24]. ...
Article
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Despite scratching behavior in owned domestic cats being a self-motivated and natural behavior, it is commonly reported as a behavior problem by owners when it results in damage to household items. The objectives of this study were to use a cross-sectional survey targeting cat owners within the United States and Canada, to explore perspectives on cat scratching behavior and management strategies, as well as identify factors that influence the performance of inappropriate scratching behavior in the household. A total of 2465 cat owners participated in the survey and three mixed logistic regression models were generated to explore associations between (1) cat demographic factors, (2) provisions of enrichment, and (3) owner demographic and management factors with owner reports of problematic scratching. In this convenience sample, inappropriate scratching was reported by 58% of cat owners. Owner perspectives and management strategies aligned with current recommendations as they preferred to use appropriate surfaces (e.g., cat trees) and training to manage scratching as opposed to surrendering, euthanizing, or declawing. Logistic regression results found fewer reports of unwanted scratching behavior if owners provide enrichment (flat scratching surfaces (p = 0.037), sisal rope (p < 0.0001), and outdoor access (p = 0.01)), reward the use of appropriate scratching objects (p = 0.007), apply attractant to preferred items (p < 0.0001), restrict access to unwanted items (p < 0.0001), provide additional scratching posts (p < 0.0001), and if their cat is 7 years of age or older (p < 0.00001). Whereas if owners use verbal (p < 0.0001) or physical correction (p = 0.007) there were higher reports of unwanted scratching. Results suggest that damage to household items from scratching behavior is related to management strategies owners employ, and these findings can be used to support owner education in mitigation and prevention of inappropriate scratching.
... To spend and enjoy increased quality time with their dog resulting in a closer bonding and higher attachment values is in accordance with findings of Kotrschral et al., (2009) [29] and Miklósi et al., (2014) [30] . Quality time spent with the dog is associated with experiencing the relationship with the dog as close [31] and may result in fewer behavioural problems [11] which in turn would also affect attachment positively. ...
Article
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Human-dog attachment is a special relationship and has been studied from various perspectives. Attachment or social bonding has a positive effect on the psychological and physiological wellbeing of a dog owner, increasing physical health and quality of life. Attachment is idiosyncratic, induced by neuroendocrinological functions like an oxytocin increase after an interaction, but also based on subjective perceptions of the quality of bonding and relationship. Dog-owner attachment was measured in this study using the Lexington Attachment to Pets Scale in its validated German version as a tool to compare owner perception with factual movement data of their dog. The question posed was whether the perceived dog behaviour impacted on the attachment score as assessed through the LAPS. The authors could show that perceived problematical or unwanted conduct, like hunting behaviour, had a negative effect on LAPS scores whereas perceived obedient behaviour had a positive effect upon attachment. The authors found that actual walking data of the dogs were not in congruence with owner assessments. Thus, owner reports alone possibly will not be a sufficient measure of dog-human relationships and animal behaviour.
... Dogs have been reported to use social referencing with their human companions, with the emotional reaction of the human influencing that of the dog (24); and emotional contagion between humans and dogs has been reported, especially in female dogs and with duration of the relationship playing a role (25). Research suggests that factors such as owner personality, human-animal interactions, and choice of training methods, particularly over extended time periods, can all impact companion animal behavior and welfare (26)(27)(28)(29)(30)(31)(32)(33)(34). If, during human-animal interactions of shorter duration (such as in a veterinary clinic or animal shelter), the emotional state of the human can influence the emotional state of the animal, then emotional state of human caretakers may play an indirect role in animal welfare, in addition to any direct (behavior-based) impacts that may occur. ...
Article
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Negative stress due to human handling has been reported for a number of domestic animals, including dogs. Many companion dogs display significant stress during routine care in the veterinary clinic, risking injury to staff and potentially compromising the quality of care that these dogs receive. On the other hand, positive interactions with humans can have a beneficial effect on dogs, particularly in stressful situations such as animal shelters. Research has shown that dogs can detect human emotions through visual, auditory, and chemical channels, and that dogs will exhibit emotional contagion, particularly with familiar humans. This study investigated relationships between emotional states of dogs and unfamiliar human handlers, using simultaneous measures of cardiac activity and behavior, during two sessions of three consecutive routine handling sets. Measures of cardiac activity included mean heart rate (HR mean ), and two measures of heart rate variability (HRV): the root mean square of successive differences between normal heartbeats (RMSSD); and the high frequency absolute power component of HRV, log transformed (HF log ). We also assessed human handlers' emotional state during handling sessions following an intervention designed to reduce stress, compared with sessions conducted on a different day and following a control activity. Polar H10 cardiac sensors were used to simultaneously record cardiac activity for both canine and human participants, and behavioral data were collected via digital video. The strongest influence on the dogs' stress levels in our study was found to be increasing familiarity with the setting and the handler; HR mean and SI decreased, and HRV (as RMSSD) increased, significantly from the first to the third handling set. Canine HRV (as HF log ) was also highest in set 3, although the difference was not statistically significant. There were no strong patterns found in the human cardiac data across handling set, session, or by pre-handling activity. We did not find consistent support for emotional contagion between the dogs and their handlers in this study, perhaps due to the brief time that the dogs spent with the handlers. Recommendations for application to dog handling, and limitations of our methods, are described.
... Similarly, the social QOL domain covers activities that might be affected by pain and lameness, such as play, but it also has questions about the amount of time spent with the pet or the training style. These are important aspects, which strongly affect dogs' welfare [28][29][30][31]. Lameness did affect, overall, the social QOL domain in the current study. ...
Article
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Quality of life is defined as an individual’s satisfaction with its physical and psychological health, its physical and social environment, and its ability to interact with the environment. Understanding companion dogs’ QOL can help veterinarians and owners know when treatment options have successfully alleviated symptoms of disease in such fields as veterinary physiotherapy. For this study, 20 adult dogs were selected from patients of a physiotherapy referral center with orthopedic, neurological, and/or degenerative conditions. The severity of the medical problem was ranked, and the symptoms, the treatment plan, and demographic data were recorded at the time of the physical examination. In addition, the owner of the dog was asked to fill out a questionnaire on the quality of life of the pet (the Milan Pet Quality of Life scale) at the time of the first consultation as well as the last follow-up after the treatment. The MPQL measures four domains of QOL: physical (signs of medical conditions), psychological (emotional and behavioral well-being), social (quality and extent of social interactions), and environmental (freedom and safety in one’s environment). The results of the study indicated a significant improvement in the psychological QOL domain following physiotherapeutic treatment. The social QOL domain declined with the severity of lameness, while the physical QOL, as reported by the owner, declined with the overall criticality of the medical condition, as ranked by the physiotherapist. The results of the study support the recent evidence of a relationship between pain and canine psychological well-being and highlight the importance of investigating psychological and emotional aspects of dogs’ QOL when treating orthopedic and neurological cases with physiotherapy.
... En adición con lo anterior, Jamieson et al. (2018) señalan que cuando un canino es manejado por una persona desconocida para el animal, existe más probabilidad de tener comportamientos indeseados causados por estrés, lo cual aumenta la distracción y afecta negativamente el rendimiento en la detección, e incluye una nueva variable de influencia en el perro de trabajo. Al ser el perro un animal social, su conducta puede verse alterada por elementos del entorno y la relación con el ser humano, independientemente del dispositivo que se esté utilizando para el aprendizaje (Herwijnen et al., 2018); en este sentido, deben tenerse en consideración aspectos como la experiencia previa del canino en tareas de entrenamiento (Marshall et al., 2009;Marshall et al., 2016), el método de refuerzo (Hiby et al., 2004;Rooney & Cowan, 2011) y el comportamiento del propietario o entrenador (Arhant et al., 2010). ...
Article
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El entrenamiento de los caninos de trabajo emplea diversos mecanismos de condicionamiento, los cuales permiten un rendimiento posterior superior, contrarrestando el sistema de drogas ilícitas, las organizaciones criminales, los grupos armados organizados (GAO) y residuales (GAOr), garantizando la seguridad y convivencia ciudadana en Colombia. Por lo anterior, se propone un enfoque cualitativo empleando una revisión sistemática de la literatura, con el objetivo de analizar el rol de la tecnología y aparatos para adiestrar caninos detectores, entre los años 2000 y 2020 dentro de las bases de datos Scopus, Elsevier y Scielo. Como resultados, se observa un aumento en la producción de artículos entre los años 2000 y 2019 (pasando de seis artículos a 86, respectivamente). Además, dentro de las herramientas empleadas en los estudios se encuentran las cajas; clickers; collares electrónicos y carruseles, los cuales discriminan el olor, utilizando sistemas de refuerzo, con diferencias dependiendo del tipo de estudio, el número de animales y el objetivo de entrenamiento. Como conclusión, es necesario desarrollar prototipos adecuados según las necesidades de entrenamiento en cada contexto, continuando con estudios que integren efectivamente los estímulos y los sistemas de recompensa para impactar los resultados en el rendimiento del perro de trabajo.
... The amount of different types of activities in which owners engage with their dogs is related to each other and influenced by characteristics of the dog such as age or behaviour (Bennett and Rohlf, 2007;Arhant et al., 2010). In our study, age was one of the main factors determining the amount of activities and the provision of chewing material as well as dog behaviour. ...
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Chewing is a behavioural element of feeding, but dogs also chew on or dissect non-edible items. This can cause considerable problems to owners if directed at household objects. Nevertheless, the provision of chewing material, associated risks and relationships with chewing behaviour and other owner-dog activities have not been investigated so far. The aim of this online survey was to explore how dog owners manage the chewing behaviour of their dog and whether there are relationships to other owner-dog interactions. Of our self-selected participants (1439 filled in the entire questionnaire), 94% provided their dogs with edible chewing material (e.g., rawhide, dried innards, meat), 83% provided inedible chew toys, 73% provided chew toys filled with food and 51% provided hard chewing material (e.g. wood, antlers). Edible materials were provided four to six times a week by the average dog owner. Regarding risks, 67% of respondents stated that their dog never had a problem caused by the use of chewing material, whereas veterinary treatment due to a problem with chewing material was reported by 3.6%. Chewing daily on soft household objects was observed in 2.5% of dogs (other common objects for daily chewing: resting places 2.2 %, clothes/shoes 1.4%); dogs up to one year of age did this more frequently (p < 0.001). Chewing on objects was not substantially related to reported motivation of the dog to play or the frequency of activities with the dog (all rs < 0.2), but was reported to occur in contexts that may cause negative emotional states such as leaving the dog alone (rs = 0.63, p < 0.001) or changes in routine activities (rs = 0.47, p < 0.001). The average reported frequency of provision of chewing material correlated positively (rs ≥ 0.2) with motivation of the dog to play, chewing on objects, human-dog play and calm activities such as petting. Dog owners think that chewing material is important for puppies and even more for adult dogs (p < 0.001). However, it remains to be investigated how motivated dogs are for chewing on different types of materials and whether chewing, as proposed by dog professionals, reduces stress. This seems particularly important for assessing the trade-off between risks and benefits of different chewing materials and its impact on dog welfare.
... Owners of small breed/crossbreed puppies were significantly less likely to attend puppy classes compared to medium, large and giant breed/crossbreed puppies, corroborating previous findings that owners of dogs under 20 kg are less likely to engage in dog training [45]. This may be related to owners' interpretation of what is acceptable dog behaviour, with owners of small breed dogs previously found to be less likely to report behaviours such as pulling on the lead or jumping up as undesirable [46]. ...
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The UK recorded sharp rises in puppy purchasing during the 2020 phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many first-time dog owners purchasing puppies to improve their mental health during this challenging period. Government restrictions on movement and social interaction during the pandemic led to animal welfare concerns over puppies’ reduced time-sensitive exposures to key environmental and social stimuli during their critical developmental period. This study aimed to compare demographics, health and early-life experiences of puppies purchased and brought home < 16 weeks of age between 23 March–31 December 2020 (“Pandemic Puppies”), with dogs purchased and brought home < 16 weeks during the same date period in 2019 (“2019 puppies”). An online survey of UK-based puppy owners was conducted between 10 November and 31 December 2020 with valid responses representing 5517 puppies (Pandemic Puppies: n = 4369; 2019 puppies: n = 1148). Multivariable logistic regression modelling revealed that Pandemic Puppies were less likely to have attended puppy training classes (67.9% 2019 vs. 28.9% 2020; p < 0.001) or had visitors to their home (94.5% 2019 vs. 81.8% 2020; p < 0.001) aged < 16 weeks compared with 2019 puppies. Fewer Pandemic Puppies underwent veterinary checks prior to purchase than 2019 puppies (2019: 91.3% vs. 2020: 87.4%; p < 0.001), but more were sold with a passport (2019: 4.1% vs. 2020: 7.1%; p < 0.001). Pandemic Puppies were significantly more likely to be ‘Designer Crossbreeds’ (2019: 18.8% vs. 2020: 26.1%; p < 0.001) and less likely to be Kennel Club registered than 2019 puppies (2019: 58.2% vs. 2020: 46.2%; p < 0.001). Greater support from veterinary and animal behavioural professionals is likely needed to ameliorate the health and behavioural impacts of growing up in a pandemic upon this vulnerable population.
... Another explanation for the significant drop in body surface temperature at 120 AE could be an elevated basal body surface temperature before exercise (BE). Beagle dogs, as a representative of a small breed, have been perceived to be more excitable, anxious and fearful of a defined task than larger breeds [25]. Excitement contributes to an increase in muscle activity and associated alterations in blood flow [26]. ...
Article
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Evaluation of body surface temperature change in response to exercise is important for monitoring physiological status. The aim of the study was to assess the influence of high-speed treadmill exercise on body surface temperature using infrared thermography (IRT) in selected body regions of healthy Beagle dogs, taking into account gait and recovery time. Thermographic images of the dogs were taken before exercise (BE), after walk (AW), after trot (AT), after canter (AC), just after second walk (JAE), 5 min after exercise (5 AE), 15 min after exercise (15 AE), 30 min after exercise (30 AE), 45 min after exercise (45 AE), and 120 min after exercise (120 AE). Body surface temperature was measured at the neck, shoulder, upper forearm, back, chest, croup, and thigh. Statistical analysis indicated the highest temperature at the upper forearm, shoulder, and thigh, and the lowest on the croup, back, and neck. The peak values of surface temperature in all ROIs were at AC and JAE and the lowest at 120 AE. The study demonstrated that body surface temperature was influenced by high-speed physical exercise on a treadmill and IRT was a viable imaging modality that provided temperature data from specific body regions. The proximal forelimb and hindlimb were the most influenced by exercise.
... Previous studies have suggested associations between the use of more aversive training methods with unwanted behaviours 4,5,8 , and an increased occurrence of aggressive behaviour where such techniques are used 1,8,11 . However, the causality of these relationships is unclear: whilst it may be that use of approaches involving aversive stimuli increase the risk of fear and aggression responses, it is also possible that owners whose dogs show such behaviours are more likely to resort to these types of techniques. ...
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 research investigating the relative welfare consequences of these different approaches. This study used a judgement bias task to compare the underlying mood state of dogs whose owners reported using two or more positive punishment/negative reinforcement based techniques, with those trained using only positive reinforcement/negative punishment in a matched pair study design. Dogs were trained to discriminate between rewarded and unrewarded locations equidistant from a start box, and mean latencies recorded. Their subsequent latency to intermediate ‘ambiguous’ locations was recorded as an indication of whether these were perceived as likely to contain food or not. Dogs trained using aversive methods were slower to all ambiguous locations. This difference was significant for latency to the middle (Wilcoxon Z = − 2.380, P = 0.017), and near positive (Wilcoxon Z = − 2.447, P = 0.014) locations, suggesting that dogs trained using coercive methods may have a more negative mood state, and hence that there are welfare implications of training dogs using such methods.
... Agility training, exercising with a member of the family, and being taken to pet events, on the other hand, occurred in equal proportions for inside and outside dogs. Other studies show time spent together is important in modulating the dog-human relationship (Arhant et al., 2010), which affects emotional closeness (Meyer and Forkman, 2014;Payne et al., 2015). These results show relevant differences in the relationship dynamics between owners with dogs living inside and those with dogs living outside. ...
Article
Dogs are particularly skillful in communicating with humans, and growing evidence points towards the importance of both species intertwined evolutionary history and intense daily partnership. Gaze alternation is a communicative behavior used by dogs from a very young age and is affected by factors such as aging and experience. We analyzed how different degrees of daily human interaction affect dogs’ gazing behavior in the unsolvable task, where a desired food becomes inaccessible. Three groups with different degrees of daily exposure to humans were compared: pet dogs that live inside the house, pet dogs that live outside the house, and shelter dogs. We found no difference in latency to the first gaze, but pet dogs did show a higher proportion of individuals engaging in gaze alternation, a higher number of gaze alternations, and a longer duration of gaze than shelter dogs. Additionally, dogs living inside the house gazed more at the experimenter than dogs living outside. Overall, our results indicate a strong influence of experience over the development and use of these communicative behaviors in dogs, with groups that are closer to people in their daily lives being more willing to communicate with humans as a strategy to obtain a desired goal.
... In return, this is likely to benefit pets, as positive human attitudes have been shown to reduce stress in animals, such as dogs (Payne et al., 2015). The amount of time that owners spend playing and training their dogs also has repercussions on the HAB, as spending more time together is likely to improve the relationship (Arhant et al., 2010;Clark & Boyer, 1993;Lefebvre et al., 2007). However, there may be cases where more frequent interaction can be detrimental for the animal, either because of inadequate socialisation (fear of humans), physical problems (chronic pain, old age, etc.) or environmental issues (not enough space for themselves) (Hargrave, 2020a;Mills et al., 2020;Puurunen et al., 2020). ...
Thesis
Throughout most of our common history, companion animals have played an important role in the lives of humans. As humans and animals evolved, so did the human-animal relationship. Different theoretical frameworks have been used to explain the potential beneficial effects of the emotional aspect of the human-animal relationship that we know as the Human-Animal Bond. This thesis examines these benefits in two novel scenarios, focusing on people (and animals) having to deal with challenging circumstances. Both studies explore the HAB in specific situations and reflect on the meaning of that bond for the humans and animals involved.
... Our data suggest that smaller dogs show on average a higher and more inter-individual variable stress response mainly during the first days in the shelter compared to larger dogs, potentially due to breedspecific differences. For example, smaller breeds are assumed to be trained and socialised less and are more likely to show fear of dogs and strangers than larger dogs (Arhant et al., 2010;Puurunen et al., 2020) and therefore could experience more stress in a shelter environment. ...
Article
Shelter dogs face the challenge of adapting to a kennel environment. Individual differences in adaptation are known to exist. Resting patterns might be indicative of adaptability to such a novel environment, but need to be evaluated for its usefulness, like every potentially physiological and behavioural parameter. Here, we evaluated nocturnal activity patterns of dogs as indicators of adaptability to novel environments. We measured nocturnal activity (3-axial accelerometer, the Actical®) and two physiological stress parameters, i.e. urinary cortisol/creatinine ratio (UCCR) and body weight in 29 dogs relinquished to a shelter (SD group) in the first two days after intake at the shelter (n = 29), after a 12-day habituation period in the shelter (n = 28) and >6 weeks post-adoption (n = 17). A control group of 29 pet dogs kept at home (CPD group), matching the SD group characteristics, was also assessed for its nocturnal activity and UCCR. Linear mixed model analysis, t-tests and Friedman tests were used to analyse the data. The main findings are: 1) the SD group exhibited higher nocturnal activity (total activity counts, activity duration and number of rest bouts) the first two nights after intake than on night 12, with decreasing inter-individual variances. Compared to the CPD group they showed higher nocturnal activity on night 1 (all p < 0.001) and night 12 (all p ≤ 0.001) except for total activity counts on night 12. We found no ‘first-night effect’, where sleep is disturbed during the first night; nocturnal activity in the shelter did not significantly differ between nights 1 and 2 in the shelter. 2) In line with literature findings, SD group UCCRs were higher shortly after intake than after a 12-day habituation period and after adoption, and higher than in the CPD group. 3) An interaction was found between weight class and both nocturnal activity and UCCR levels: in their first days in the shelter, smaller dogs showing higher levels than larger dogs. 4) Dogs in the SD group lost, on average, 5% of their body weight between intake and the two-week habituation period. In conclusion, nocturnal activity, as measured by an accelerometer, may be a valid parameter to monitor adaptability of dogs to a kennel environment. Monitoring nocturnal activity in this way can be a useful and cost-effective additional indicator for assessing dog welfare.
Article
Free-ranging dogs are often associated with human habitation in many developing countries, and are found in both rural and urban environments in Viçosa, Brazil. Urban free-ranging dogs (UFDs) are opportunistic and feed on leftovers, whether given to them or scavenged from trash cans while they wander about the streets. Most free-ranging dogs living in rural areas (RFDs) protect property and cattle. Depending on their behaviors, such as aggression or roaming, both UFDs and RFDs can be a health problem for people and other animals. The aim of this study was to investigate behavioral differences between UFDs and RFDs. Due to the guardian role of RFDs, it was hypothesized that they would be more aggressive and present less locomotor activity than the UFDs. In this study, 40 UFDs living on the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV) campus and 15 RFDs living on six rural properties in Viçosa, Brazil, were examined. The dogs were observed for twelve months, at different times during a 24-hour cycle, with 14 behavioral categories being recorded. RFDs showed significantly more vigilance (p < 0.01) and interspecific agonistic behavior (p < 0.01) than UFDs. UFDs showed significantly more locomotor behavior (p < 0.01) than RFDs. UFDs are less aggressive than RFDs, but they move more often. Resource availability, such as scattered food, influenced the locomotor activity in UFDs, whereas RFDs did not experience the same effect as they were supplied with a temporal and spatial feeding schedule. To the RFDs, concentrated resources such as food and shelter are highly defensible. This study showed that, in Viçosa (Brazil), RFDs and UFDs displayed different behaviors. These differences are most likely driven by the resource-defense behavior of RFDs.
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The field of Human-Animal Interaction (HAI) is plagued with mixed results. Some findings appear to indicate that interacting with a companion animal is beneficial for some aspect of human health and well-being, while other research outcomes are inconclusive or even indicate the opposite. The purpose of this paper is to take a closer look at this variability in research outcomes and to provide plausible explanations and potential remedies. Some of the reasons for mixed results are likely due to the wide variety of methodologies implemented, intermittent use of standardized measures and manualized protocols, variability in human and animal participants, and limited quantification of human-animal interactions or definitions of pet ownership. Variability in research outcomes is not unique to HAI and is, in fact, not uncommon in many more established fields such as psychology and medicine. However, the potential reasons for the variability may be linked to the unique nature of HAI in that, in its' simplest form, it involves two complex organisms, a human and an animal, interacting in dynamic ways. We argue that this complexity makes research in this field particularly challenging and requires a broad spectrum of theoretical and methodological considerations to improve rigor while ensuring the validity and reliability of conclusions drawn from study results.
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Over 1 million dogs are imported into the United States and roughly 340,000 dogs into the United Kingdom yearly. Although the official number of dogs arriving to Canada is currently unknown, local animal professionals estimate that thousands of dogs are imported into Canada each year. Dog importation may be increasing globally while regulation and surveillance are still limited, resulting in concerns for the health and welfare of imported dogs. To date, few studies have investigated how the source location of dogs influences the owner-dog relationship. The current report presents two independent studies that were conducted to assess whether owners of imported dogs reported a poorer owner-dog relationships compared to owners of Canadian-born dogs. In both studies, an online survey was distributed to dog owners (Study 1: n = 803; Study 2: n = 878) in British Columbia, Canada, containing questions on various aspects of the owner-dog relationship. The first study included questions from the Lexington Attachment to Pets Scale, Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire, Human-Animal Bond questionnaire, Monash Dog Owner Relationship Scale, and constructed questions about training methods, expectations, and health. The second study was comprised of original questions assessing difficult behaviour, training practices, health, attachment, and perceived level of burden of owning a dog. Both studies found no evidence of a poorer owner-dog relationship in non-Canadian-sourced dogs. In fact, owners of Canadian-sourced dogs used harsh training methods more frequently and had higher expectations for their dog. While no signs of poorer owner-dog relationship in non-Canadian-sourced dogs were found, future research should continue the investigation of age, health, and backgrounds of incoming dogs.
Chapter
Domestic dogs differ enormously in both their morphology and behavior. Numerous factors can influence the development and expression of canine behavior and, more generally, determine the success of the pet–owner relationship. This chapter considers the role of nature and nurture in shaping canine behavior. The influence of factors intrinsic to the animal is outlined, focusing on research that has explored the role of breed, sex, and cerebral lateralization in guiding canine behavior and cognitive functioning. The chapter goes on to consider the role of more extrinsic factors that can influence the development of dog behavior, discussing the contribution of early experience, source of acquisition, training techniques, and owner-related traits including personality and attachment style. The article points to the enormous amount of individual variation that exists between dogs and the myriad of factors that can work together to shape the behavior and functioning of the animal we see before us.
Chapter
Differences in the behavior of the domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) and its progenitor species, the gray wolf (Canis lupus), are well recognized but the mechanisms of the wolf to dog transformation remain an area of scientific debate. A view of dog domestication that is centered on genetic selection for behavioral traits receives support from the famous Russian farm-fox experiment that began in the 1950s. Selection of foxes (Vulpes vulpes), separately, for tame and for aggressive behavior, has yielded two strains with markedly different, genetically determined, behavioral phenotypes. Tame-strain foxes communicate with humans in a positive manner and are eager to establish human contact. Conversely, foxes from the aggressive strain are aggressive to humans and difficult to handle. Although selected solely for behavior, changes in physiology, morphology, and appearance with significant parallels to characteristics of the domestic dog were observed in the selected strains. The genetic analysis of the fox populations identified several genomic regions that are homologous to the regions in the dog genome that differentiate dogs from wolves. Although the genetic regulation of domesticated behavior is far from being completely understood enormous progress has been made in this field. This chapter reviews studies of behavior and genetics in dogs and foxes and highlights the role of selection for behavior in ancient and modern dog formation.
Chapter
These proceedings contain oral and poster presentations from various experts on animal behaviour and animal welfare in veterinary medicine presented at the conference.
Article
Parents raise children in consistent ways, and these parenting styles affect child wellbeing and societal adjustment. Recently, we identified such parenting styles in the owner–dog relationship. Dog owners of the authoritarian- correction orientated (AUC) type stand out for demandingness. Authoritative dog owners adopt either an intrinsic-value orientated style (AUI), of high responsiveness and attention to a dog’s needs, or an authoritative-training orientated style (AUT) of high demandingness and responsiveness in teaching a dog how to behave socially. The causes for dog owners to favor certain dog- directed parenting styles are presently unknown. Orientations toward animals could play a role, and these have previously been determined in dog owners, capsulizing views on dog ownership. A dominionistic orientation values the dog for its utility, a humanistic orientation humanizes dogs, and a protectionistic orientation acknowledges the dog’s species-specific interests. We wanted to know how these views on dog ownership are associated with dog-directed parenting styles. Therefore, orientations toward animals and dog-directed parenting styles were determined from dog-owner reports collected online (n = 518). The Likert-scale items regarding the orientations toward animals were grouped using data reduction techniques. The scores for our newly formed orientations were then rank correlated to the dog-directed parenting styles, with all scores expressed as percentages of the theoretical maximum. A dominionistic orientation was associated with AUC, indicating that combined demandingness and non-responsiveness in dog-directed parenting partly results from the owner’s perceived need to dominate the dog. A humanistic/protectionistic orientation was associated with AUI, suggesting that the combination of parenting responsiveness and relatively low demandingness is an outcome of humanizing dogs. These findings support the idea that orientations toward animals partly underlie dog-directed parenting styles and may constitute a starting point for guiding owners away from less favorable dog-directed parenting styles.
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Cães de canis experimentais ficam alojados individualmente no período de experimentação, podendo causar assim, alguns problemas comportamentais, os quais prejudicam seu bem-estar. Com isso, uma ferramenta que pode ser utilizada para minimizar esses efeitos e melhorar o bem-estar dos animais é o enriquecimento ambiental. Assim, o objetivo desse trabalho foi avaliar o comportamento de cães de canil experimental e a digestibilidade da dieta, com e sem enriquecimento ambiental. Foram utilizados oito cães adultos, os quais permaneceram 10 dias sem enriquecimento ambiental, seguidos por 10 dias com, totalizando 20 dias de experimento. O enriquecimento utilizado foi uma esfera oca, contendo furos, na qual o alimento era liberado conforme manipulação pelos cães. A dieta foi fornecida duas vezes ao dia. Foram realizados dois ensaios de digestibilidade, com a mesma dieta, sendo um no período sem enriquecimento e outro com. Cada ensaio de digestibilidade teve cinco dias de adaptação à dieta, seguido por cinco dias de coleta total de fezes. Foram observados os comportamentos dos cães durante o início e final de cada período. Houve aumento no tempo comendo (0,3% para 1,2%) e no comportamento exploratório (0,3% para 1,7%) dos cães no período que foi utilizado enriquecimento ambiental (P>0,05). Houve diminuição da coprofagia (1 vez para 0) no final do período que os animais estavam com enriquecimento (P<0,05). Os demais comportamentos não diferiram (P>0,05). Não houve diferença na digestibilidade da dieta mensurada sem e com enriquecimento (P>0,05). Com isso, o enriquecimento ambiental melhora alguns comportamentos, auxiliando no bem-estar de cães de canil experimental, sem interferir na mensuração da digestibilidade da dieta.
Article
With the increasing population of companion dogs, the social cost derived from their behavioral problems is increasing. Therefore, it is important to understand the environment to provide experience for dogs via interactions with their owners to prevent and solve these problems. The parenting behavior of dog owners as an environmental factor has a profound impact on the behavior development of dogs, as does the parenting behavior on children. Therefore, this study aimed to develop a scale to assess the dog owner’s parenting behavior. Exploratory factor analysis involving 300 participants resulted in a scale with four subscales, Positive Education, Involvement of Socialization, Intimacy, and Stable Responses, and 19 items. Confirmatory factor analysis was then performed to verify its reliability and validity. The result of parenting behaviors assessed by this scale was significantly different between a group with dogs with problematic behavior (n = 141) and those without (n = 159). Overall, a dog owner’s parenting behavior involves affection and control aspects, but the role required specifically in the control aspect is distinguished from the parenting behavior with children. The findings in the present study will provide people who have dogs with behavior problems with effective education that will help prevent dogs from developing behavioral problems.
Conference Paper
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Effectiveness of positive punishment (inflict something unpleasant to reduce unwanted behaviour) is subject to conditions such as timing, schedule etc. Inappropriate use may impair dog welfare and is suspect of causing problem behaviour. Our aim was to quantify owners` use of positive punishment and to explore relationships of appropriateness of positive punishment with problem behaviour and training engagement. Therefore, we surveyed Viennese petdog-owners via questionnaire sent by post in January 2007. It contained questions regarding schedule, intensity and use of a warning signal in order to categorise owners according to the appropriateness of their use of positive punishment. Altogether 1345 questionnaires (return rate=28%) were analysed using Oneway-ANOVA, Cross-Tabulations and Linear Regression. 28.9 % of the owners declared that they do not use positive punishment, 17.2% gave inconsistent answers and 43.6% constantly reported to use positive punishment. We concentrated on the latter in further analyses. Inappropriateness of positive punishment was linked with an increase in reported frequencies of aggression (F(3, 506)=5.09, p=0.002) and fear (F(3, 509)=6.18, p=0.000) in dogs. Moreover, decreased obedience (F(3, 498)=36,80, p=0.000) and a lower tolerance of close physical contact with the owner (chi2=22.91, p=0.000) was found in inappropriately punished dogs. Frequency of dog training, a possible confounder, was related to appropriateness of punishment (chi2=30.17, p=0.003) and dog behaviour: a higher frequency of dog training was associated with increased obedience (F(4, 494)=11.87, p=0.000) and decreased fear (F(4, 505)=5.12, p=0.000). Nevertheless, appropriateness of punishment showed to be the better predictor for obedience (beta=0.395, t=9.78, p=0.000) and fear (beta=-0.161, t=-3.67, p=0.000) in dogs. We conclude that inappropriate use of positive punishment has the ability to increase aggression and fear. It can lower the tolerance of close physical contact with the owner and decrease obedience. Therefore we see well-being of owners and public as well as dog welfare put at risk.
Article
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Historically, pet dogs were trained using mainly negative reinforcement or punishment, but positive reinforcement using rewards has recently become more popular. The methods used may have different impacts on the dogs’ welfare. We distributed a questionnaire to 364 dog owners in order to examine the relative effectiveness of different training methods and their effects upon a pet dog’s behaviour. When asked how they trained their dog on seven basic tasks, 66% reported using vocal punishment, 12% used physical punishment, 60% praise (social reward), 51% food rewards and 11% play. The owner’s ratings for their dog’s obedience during eight tasks correlated positively with the number of tasks which they trained using rewards (P < 0.01), but not using punishment (P = 0.05). When asked whether their dog exhibited any of 16 common problematic behaviours, the number of problems reported by the owners correlated with the number of tasks for which their dog was trained using punishment (P < 0.001), but not using rewards (P = 0.17). Exhibition of problematic behaviours may be indicative of compromised welfare, because such behaviours can be caused by—or result in—a state of anxiety and may lead to a dog being relinquished or abandoned. Because punishment was associated with an increased incidence of problematic behaviours, we conclude that it may represent a welfare concern without concurrent benefits in obedience. We suggest that positive training methods may be more useful to the pet-owning community
Article
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Despite the popular idea that dog owners are often responsible in some way for their animals' behaviour problems, the scientific evidence is scarce and contradictory. Some studies have failed to detect any links between the quality of the owner-dog relationship and the occurrence of behaviour problems, while others suggest that some behaviour problems may be associated with certain aspects of owner personality, attitudes and/or behaviour.Using retrospective data from a sample of 737 dogs, the present study investigated the association between the prevalence of different behaviour problems and various aspects of either owner behaviour or owner-dog interactions. A number of statistically significant associations were detected: (a) between obedience training and reduced prevalence of competitive aggression (P < 0.02), separation-related problems (P < 0.001), and escaping and roaming (P < 0.05); (b) between the timing of the dogs' meal times and the occurrence of territorial-type aggression (P < 0.01); (c) between sleeping close to the owner and increased prevalence of competitive aggression (P < 0.01) and separation-related problems (P < 0.01); (d) between first-time ownership and the prevalence of dominance-type aggression (P < 0.001), separation-related problems (P < 0.05), fear of loud noises (P < 0.001), and various manifestations of overexcitability (P < 0.001); (e) between owners' initial reasons for acquiring a dog and the prevalence of dominance-type (P < 0.001), competitive (P < 0.01) and territorial aggression (P < 0.01). The possible practical implications of these findings are discussed.
Article
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Many companion dogs occupy a privileged position in our society, living closely with human caretakers who go to great lengths to provide for their needs and desires. Others fare less well, being abandoned or killed, many because they are believed to exhibit behaviour problems. The aim in this study was to investigate the frequency of potentially problematic behaviours experienced by a convenience sample of companion dog owners and to establish if the presence of these behaviours was associated with demographic variables, involvement in dog training activities and participation in other dog-human interactions. Potentially problematic behaviours were reported to occur by the 413 adult participants only infrequently, but fell into five factors; disobedience, unfriendliness/aggression, nervousness, anxiety/destructiveness and excitability. Each of these factors was associated with a number of owner and dog characteristics. Engagement in training activities was predictive of lower scores being obtained for many of the behaviours, as well as increased involvement in shared activities. Some of the behaviours, particularly the perceived friendliness of the dog, were also predictive of involvement in shared activities. This confirms that strategies designed to increase participation in dog training activities and promote canine sociability may have significant benefits for both companion dog owners and their dogs.
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Establishing a prognosis for dogs with dominance-related aggression is difficult. Some dominant-aggressive dogs respond well to treatment; others continue to be serious risks for their owners. A study was performed to identify characteristics of dominance-related aggression and to identify risk factors associated with whether the aggressive behavior led to euthanasia. Medical records of 110 dogs with dominance-related aggression were examined retrospectively; characteristics of owner-directed aggression and eventual outcome of the dogs were recorded. By means of logistic regression, 2 different models were found to describe the association between behavior characteristics and outcome. In the first model, severe aggression in response to benign dominance challenges and body weight > 18.2 kg were associated with outcome. In the second model, unpredictability of aggression and a history of being purchased were associated with outcome. We concluded that dominance-related aggressive behavior can be subclassified according to severity and type and that outcome (ie, euthanasia) may be predictable in some cases.
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This study focuses on the pattern of incidence, mechanisms, and circumstances of accident and injury in a series of pediatric patients who sustained dog bites. In our retrospective survey, the medical charts of all children who were younger than 17 years and sought medical attention after a dog bite between 1994 and 2003 were reviewed. To obtain the total number of each dog breed in the administrative district, we analyzed 5873 files from the community dog registers. For establishment of a risk index, the representation of a dog breed among the total canine population was divided by the frequency of dog bites from this breed. A total of 341 children (mean age: 5.9 years) were identified. The annual incidence of dog bites was 0.5 per 1000 children between 0 and 16 years of age. Incidence was highest in 1-year-old patients and decreased with increasing age. The relative risk for a dog attack by a German shepherd or a Doberman was approximately 5 times higher than that of a Labrador/retriever or cross-breed. The vast majority (82%) of the dogs were familiar to the children. Most (322; 94%) of the children had injuries to 1 body region; in the remaining 19 (6%) children, up to 3 body regions were injured. Of 357 injuries, the face, head, and neck region was the leading site affected (50%). Inpatient treatment was required in 93 (27%) patients. Dog bites in children are frequent and influenced by the breed-related behavior of dogs, dog owners, children, and parents. Therefore, prevention strategies should focus on public education and training of dogs and their owners. Children who are younger than 10 years represent the high-risk group for dog attacks.
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In a questionnaire survey of dog owners, 88% of respondents’ dogs had received some form of training. Training methods varied; 16% of owners said that they used only positive reinforcement, 12% used a combination of positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement, 32% used a combination of positive reinforcement and positive punishment, and the remaining 40% used a combination of all categories. Seventy-two percent of owners used some form of positive punishment. The mean number of potentially undesirable behaviors reported was 11.3 per dog. Attendance at formal training classes did not significantly affect the total number of potentially undesirable behaviors reported. However, dogs that had attended puppy socialization classes were less likely to show an undesirable reaction to dogs from outside the household, and owners who carried out informal training at home, but did not attend any form of formal training class, were more likely to report some form of aggression in their dog. The training method used by owners was also related to the total number of potentially undesirable behaviors shown by the dogs. When individual categories of potentially undesirable behavior were investigated, the type of training method used was also significantly associated with attention-seeking score, fear (avoidance) score, and aggression score. Other factors related to the overall number of potentially undesirable behaviors included the age and origin of the dog.
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The characteristics of 227 biting dogs, their homes, and their victims were gathered in a detailed telephone survey of general veterinary clientele in the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. All of the dogs had bitten either someone living in the same household, or someone who was a frequent visitor and was well known to the dog. There were 117 male and 110 female dogs included in this case series. Significantly more female dogs were neutered (P=0.03), 58% of the dogs were purebred, and the most commonly reported breed was the Labrador Retriever (n=15). The mean number of people living in each home was 3.13 (S.D.±0.08). Aggression which would traditionally be defined as dominant or possessive had been demonstrated by 75.6% of the dogs in at least one of 17 specific situations outlined in the questionnaire. Dogs with a history of this type of aggression were significantly older (P=0.02) and of lower body weight (P
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In order to determine risk factors for biting behaviour by dogs in a household setting, a detailed telephone survey of dog owners was undertaken using individuals selected from a cross-sectional population of veterinary clientele in the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. Interviews were successfully completed with 515 of 640 individuals selected from a study population of 3226 dogs by a formal random process. For the purpose of risk factor analysis, 227 biting and 126 non-biting dogs were selected according to strict criteria to evaluate the association of potential risk factors with biting behaviour. Biting behaviour was carefully defined in the telephone interview to avoid including activity associated with playful mouthing by the dog. All dogs were at least 6 months of age. Both the mean weight and age of biting dogs were significantly lower (P
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The relationships amongst attitudes and personal characteristics of stockpeople, their interactions with cows, the behaviour of cows during milking towards humans and average milk yield were investigated on 30 small, family-run dairy farms where cows were housed in a cubicle shed. Several components of the stockperson’s attitude (beliefs, emotions and behavioural intentions) towards characteristics of cows and to behaviour towards cows were measured using a questionnaire. Personal characteristics were assessed using a self-report inventory. Tactile and acoustic behaviour towards the cows was observed during moving and milking. The avoidance distance of cows towards an experimenter was tested in the barn and their flinch/step/kick responses during milking was recorded. Attitude items were reduced, using principal components analysis, to 4 general and 11 behavioural attitude components. Spearman rank correlation and, with milk yield, partial correlations were calculated. The behaviour of stockpeople was strongly correlated with the behaviour of cows and moderately to milk yield: if stockpeople used a high absolute number and percentage of positive interactions and a low number and percentage of negative behaviours, respectively, in the milking parlour, cows avoided humans less (P
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Many of the structural modifications of modern breeds of domestic dog,Canis familiariscan be explained by changes in the rate of development, during domestication from the wolf,C.lupusThese changes have been dominated by paedomorphosis, or underdevelopment, so that the adult passes through fewer growth stages and resembles a juvenile stage of its ancestor. In this paper the effects of these processes on the signalling ability of 10 breeds selected for their degree of physical dissimilarity to the wolf are examined. The number of ancestral dominant and submissive behaviour patterns used during signalling within single-breed groups ranged from two (Cavalier King Charles spaniel) to 15 (Siberian husky), and this correlated positively with the degree to which the breed physically resembles the wolf, as assessed by a panel of 14 dog behaviour counsellors. When the signals displayed by each breed were grouped according to the stage of wolf development in which they first appear, those breeds with the smallest repertoires were found to draw most of their signals from those appearing before 20 days of age in the wolf, suggesting that physical paedomorphism has been accompanied by behavioural paedomorphism.
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This study addresses interactions between hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis activation in response to stress, relationship quality, and behavior in thunderstorm-anxious dogs and their owners. Using a controlled repeated-measures design, we experimentally manipulated exposure of individuals to a stressor they were highly fearful of, and assessed both their own and their caregivers’ physiological and behavioral responsiveness. Saliva samples were collected from 19 dog–owner dyads before, 20 and 40min after exposure to a simulated thunderstorm and were later assayed for cortisol. In response to the challenge, the dogs exhibited classic signs of fear (i.e., pacing, whining, hiding), their cortisol levels increased 207%, and these levels did not return to baseline within 40min. There were no effects of the owners’ behavior or the quality of the dog–owner relationship on the dogs’ HPA or behavioral reactivity. However, the presence of other dogs in the household was linked to less pronounced reactivity and more rapid recovery of the dog's HPA response. On average, the cortisol levels of the caregivers did not increase. Owners’ mood (e.g. depression, anger) affected their behavioral response towards their dogs. These findings are among the first to study the HPA responsiveness of anxious canines in response to stress in a home setting, and the physiological and behavioral effects of problem canine behavior on their caregivers.
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There has been an increasing emphasis in Australia on confining dogs to owner’s properties (household backyards) as a solution to problems of dog aggression. Therefore, there is a need to determine the social and physical conditions that make up the dog’s backyard environment and how these factors may affect dog behaviour and welfare. The aim of this study was to provide an overview of the conditions provided to dogs in suburban Melbourne (Australia) and any behavioural problems associated with these conditions. A survey of 203 dog owners across suburban Melbourne was conducted. The questionnaire consisted of questions relating to demographics, the dogs’ routine and confinement and what behaviours the owners observed in their dogs. The relationship between some of the environmental factors and the occurrence of problem behaviour was then examined. The main behaviour problems reported by owners were overexcitement (63%) and jumping up on people (56%). Some of the factors that were correlated with the occurrence of problem behaviours included how well the dog obeyed commands (P
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Over one year, 206 dog owners were questioned in a veterinary clinic. The survey included two groups: 151 owners who visited the clinic because of an injury to their dog caused by another dog and 55 people who owned dogs that caused injuries to others. The questioning served to compare aggressors and victims of dog fights. The form contained 43 questions concerning the dog, the owner, and the incident of intraspecific aggression.The results reveal that both groups, victim and aggressor, showed regularities regarding the breeds, gender, and process of the fight. Important factors include housing conditions, criteria concerning the selection of a dog, and the dog's training. Significant differences were found comparing the owners of aggressors and their victims, including the owner's gender, profession, age, his/her attitude towards dogs, the selection of a specific breed, training methods, the purpose of keeping a dog, and previous experiences owning a dog.Further conclusions were drawn regarding the time and location of the incidents. Their influence on a potential solution to the problem caused by aggressive dogs is discussed.
Article
The purpose of this study was to determine if dogs that were treated ‘like a person’ or that had not been obedience trained were more likely to exhibit owner-reported behavior problems than dogs not treated in those ways. A questionnaire, comprising 75 items, was available in the waiting room of the Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania throughout 1981. Responses to 11 questions answered by 711 different respondents, each from a different household, were analyzed. Nine questions related to treating the dog ‘like a person’ (either spoiling the dog or viewing it anthropomorphically), and the other two asked whether or not the dog had had formal obedience training and whether or not the dog had engaged in a behavior that the owner considered a problem. Results of a series of chi-square analyses failed to reveal that problem behaviors were related to obedience training, ‘spoiling’, or anthropomorphic activities. Further, a discriminant analysis was unable to identify any variable (item), including obedience training, ‘spoiling’ activities, or anthropomorphic attitudes, that distinguished between dogs engaging and not engaging in problem behaviors. Eight variables were then factor analyzed, resulting in four factors which counted for 71.15% of the variance. The factors, which pertained to owners sharing food with their dog, taking the dog along on trips or errands, dog comfort or resting places, and anthropomorphic attitudes, were analyzed along with the obedience training and behavior problem variables in an ANOVA. The results showed that dogs whose owners interacted with them in an anthropomorphic manner, ‘spoiled’ them in certain ways, or did not provide obedience training were no more likely to engage in behaviors considered a problem by the owner than were dogs not viewed anthropomorphically, ‘spoiled’ by their owner, or given obedience training.