Article

Training dogs with help of the shock collar: Short and long term behavioural effects

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Abstract

Behavioural effects of the use of a shock collar during guard dog training of German shepherd dogs were studied. Direct reactions of 32 dogs to 107 shocks showed reactions (lowering of body posture, high pitched yelps, barks and squeals, avoidance, redirection aggression, tongue flicking) that suggest stress or fear and pain. Most of these immediate reactions lasted only a fraction of a second. The behaviour of 16 dogs that had received shocks in the recent past (S-dogs) was compared with the behaviour of 15 control dogs that had received similar training but never had received shocks (C-dogs) in order to investigate possible effects of a longer duration. Only training sessions were used in which no shocks were delivered and the behaviour of the dogs (position of body, tail and ears, and stress-, pain- and aggression-related behaviours) was recorded in a way that enabled comparison between the groups. During free walking on the training grounds S-dogs showed a lower ear posture and more stress-related behaviours than C-dogs. During obedience training and during manwork (i.e. excercises with a would-be criminal) the same differences were found. Even a comparison between the behaviour of C-dogs with that of S-dogs during free walking and obedience exercises in a park showed similar differences. Differences between the two groups of dogs existed in spite of the fact that C-dogs also were trained in a fairly harsh way. A comparison between the behaviour during free walking with that during obedience exercises and manwork, showed that during training more stress signals were shown and ear positions were lower. The conclusions, therefore are, that being trained is stressful, that receiving shocks is a painful experience to dogs, and that the S-dogs evidently have learned that the presence of their owner (or his commands) announces reception of shocks, even outside of the normal training context. This suggests that the welfare of these shocked dogs is at stake, at least in the presence of their owner.

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... The communication between pet dog and owner Miklosi et al., 2003;Soproni et al., 2001;Viranyi et al., 2004) and the efficiency of some stimuli and their consequences on behaviour (Hiby et al., 2004;Schilder and Van der Borg, 2004) have recently received some attention. Few studies have been conducted on human-animal communication in service dogs (guide-dogs for the blind in Naderi et al., 2001; search dogs in Lit and Crawford, 2005; military working dogs in Lefebvre et al., 2007). ...
... Few studies have been conducted on human-animal communication in service dogs (guide-dogs for the blind in Naderi et al., 2001; search dogs in Lit and Crawford, 2005; military working dogs in Lefebvre et al., 2007). Human-dog communication can be studied through dog training (Schilder and Van der Borg, 2004). In this case, the most usual method of training is operant conditioning: the animal learns that its response to a command (i.e. ...
... Traditional dog training techniques have mainly used aversive stimuli. Though the use of those stimuli can be efficient in some situations (Christiansen et al., 2001), serious negative consequences have been observed: well-being problems (Beerda et al., 1998;Schilder and Van der Borg, 2004) and an increase in the number of behavioural problems (stereotyped behaviour, fear, intra-and inter-specific aggression, Tortora, 1983;Roll and Unshelm, 1997;Hiby et al., 2004). Bibliographic review (e.g. ...
... Additionally, overall, dogs from Group Aversive displayed stress-related behaviors more frequently than dogs from both Group Mixed and Group Reward, and dogs from Group Mixed displayed stress-related behaviors more frequently than dogs from Group Reward. In previous studies, high levels of lip licking and yawning behaviors have been consistently associated with acute stress in dogs (e.g., [10,27]). Importantly, lip licking has been associated with stressful social situations [27]. ...
... In previous studies, high levels of lip licking and yawning behaviors have been consistently associated with acute stress in dogs (e.g., [10,27]). Importantly, lip licking has been associated with stressful social situations [27]. This most likely explains the large magnitude of this behavior observed in Group Mixed and the even larger magnitude in Group Aversive, as aversive-based training methods comprise social and physical confrontation with the dog. ...
... In turn, whining has also been associated with attention seeking and/or food begging behavior in dogs [28], and as such, is most likely also not a reliable indicator of distress. Finally, yelping may be interpreted as a response to pain [27]. However, besides the fact that no differences were found between groups, this behavior occurred very rarely in the present study. ...
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.
... Additionally, overall, dogs from Group Aversive displayed stress-related behaviors more frequently than dogs from both Group Mixed and Group Reward, and dogs from Group Mixed displayed stress-related behaviors more frequently than dogs from Group Reward. In previous studies, high levels of lip licking and yawning behaviors have been consistently associated with acute stress in dogs (e.g., [10,27]). Importantly, lip licking has been associated with stressful social situations [27]. ...
... In previous studies, high levels of lip licking and yawning behaviors have been consistently associated with acute stress in dogs (e.g., [10,27]). Importantly, lip licking has been associated with stressful social situations [27]. This most likely explains the large magnitude of this behavior observed in Group Mixed and the even larger magnitude in Group Aversive, as aversive-based training methods comprise social and physical confrontation with the dog. ...
... In turn, whining has also been associated with attention seeking and/or food begging behavior in dogs [28], and as such, is most likely also not a reliable indicator of distress. Finally, yelping may be interpreted as a response to pain [27]. However, besides the fact that no differences were found between groups, this behavior occurred very rarely in the present study. ...
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.
... Moreover, actions that keepers consider to be aversive for dogs may not necessarily be effective and may be harmful to them. Several studies have suggested that the use of aversive actions may compromise the welfare of dogs and even cause an increase in problematic behaviors (e.g., Blackwell, Twells, Seawright, & Casey, 2008;Cooper, Cracknell, Hardiman, Wright, & Mills, 2014;Deldalle & Gaunet, 2014;Hiby et al., 2004;Schilder & van der Borg, 2004). In this study, we asked keepers which behaviors they used when trying to correct undesirable behaviors of their dogs, with some occurring in the keeper's presence and others occurring without the keeper's knowledge of them. ...
... Thus, it is helpful to explain to keepers what can be considered a correction and, more importantly, what is most appropriate for their specific dog and does not impair the dog's welfare. This is even more relevant considering that several studies have recommended that dog keepers avoid corrections to prevent undesired behaviors and foster canine welfare (e.g., Blackwell et al., 2008;Cooper, Cracknell, Hardiman, Wright, & Mills, 2014;Deldalle, & Gaunet, 2014;Hiby et al., 2004;Schilder & van der Borg, 2004). One review has suggested that the use of aversive actions can in fact compromise both the mental and physical health of dogs (Ziv, 2017), but another indicated that strong conclusions cannot be made from the limited studies examining the effects of aversive actions (Fernandes, Olsson, & de Castro, 2017). ...
Article
This study investigated how keepers report correcting their dogs' undesired behaviors by using what they consider to be aversive to them. Over 60,000 dog keepers responded to an online questionnaire addressing this issue. The questionnaire included the frequencies of delayed corrections of perceived signs of previously occurring undesired behaviors, the type of aversive actions applied (independently of correction timing), and the frequencies of specific canine behaviors that the keepers sought to correct. Based on results, correcting undesired behaviors of dogs that occurred some time ago is frequently reported, and the most common corrections are not necessarily effective in reducing these undesired behaviors. Moreover, keepers commonly use aversive actions to correct dogs' urination/defecation in inappropriate places or destruction of objects, but they do not commonly do so for excessive barking or incorrectly responding to a cue.
... Traditionally, working dog training has relied on the use of punitive methods, shown to be associated with poorer operational performance and compromised welfare. 38,39 Accordingly, modern working dog training has largely shifted away from the use of aversives. 24 The use of compulsion-based training may be a function of the dog's role, such as protection dogs trained for bite-work that are resistant to releasing their grip. ...
... 24 The use of compulsion-based training may be a function of the dog's role, such as protection dogs trained for bite-work that are resistant to releasing their grip. 39 However, Haverbeke and coworkers 40 found that training sessions that included positive dog-handler interactions led to better performance for military working dogs (MWDs), and recommend avoiding the use of aversive methods by conducting more frequent and reward-based training to improve obedience and the dog-handler relationship. For example, the authors suggested training dogs to perform behaviors more compatible with the desired outcomes, such as releasing a bite in exchange for a different "decoy" target. ...
Article
Individual differences in behavior lead to wide variability in working dog suitability, and are the primary reason for rejection or early release. Behavioral suitability of a working dog is shaped by interactions with its environment during early development and specialized training. Understanding how aspects of development and training affect a working dog's performance is critical for practitioners to effectively evaluate and treat behavioral concerns in working dogs. This article provides an overview of critical aspects of puppy development that influence future behavior, and reviews important features of training that influence a dog's ability to learn and perform its designated task.
... Studies have pointed to human influences on dogs' learning processes. Although some studies have found no effect of training method on the behavior or welfare of animals [25], some have raised evidence that the use of punitive methods in training may, for instance, affect a dog's ability to learn a new task [26], or increase their stress levels (e.g., [27,28]). A dog's ability to attend to a cue may also be influenced by the vocal information the trainer includes before the cue (e.g., saying the dog's name or an unknown word [29]); even if the dog is familiar with the cue, this vocal information may reduce the dog's performance. ...
... An alternative interpretation for these associations was that the trainers behaved more positively (i.e., using neutral or gentle tones of voice) in sessions when the dogs performed better. However, considering the fact that we also recorded reproachful speech used in tandem with good dog performance, and considering studies which have reported the effects of human behavior on their responses (e.g., [26][27][28][30][31][32]), we think this interpretation is improbable. Different emotional responses of dogs to interactions with humans have been demonstrated to be dependent on human behavior/attitude. ...
Article
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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.
... Toute tentative de modification comportementale doit tenir compte des limites de l'animal en matière de réactivité émotionnelle, afin d'éviter de provoquer chez lui de l'anxiété, de la peur ou toute autre émotion qui viendrait interférer avec ses capacités d'apprentissage et pourrait conduire à de l'agression. Pour la même raison, l'usage de toute stimulation douloureuse doit être proscrit (Masson et al. 2018, Schalke et al. 2007, Schilder et van der Borg 2004. L'étude de Haverbeke, Rzepa, et al. (2010) sur l'agressivité et la peur des chiens militaires a montré que, lors d'exercices d'obéissance, les chiens qui n'avaient pas participé à un programme de familiarisation (contacts réguliers) et d'apprentissage par des méthodes positives, présentaient une posture corporelle plus basse (expression associée à la peur) et étaient moins performants que ceux qui avaient participé à ce type de programme. ...
... De plus, du point de vue du bien-être animal, les experts s'accordent sur le fait que l'utilisation des colliers électriques est à proscrire, sauf circonstances exceptionnelles. Leur usage induit en effet une augmentation du stress en présence du propriétaire (Schalke et al. 2007, Schilder et van der Borg 2004. ...
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.
... Therefore, so long as dogs were not exposed to inescapable punishment, and trainers followed industry standards, we could not artificially impose standardized training programs, nor could we preclude trainers from using other signals and/or contingencies during training such as hand and lead signals. As a consequence, although we did not have the control over variables of experimental investigations of e-collar training [e.g., (37)(38)(39)], we did meet our aim of evaluating professional training of companion dogs with typically referred behaviors in the field. ...
... Given the better target behavior response parameters associated with a rewardfocused training programme, and the finding that the use of an E-collar did not create a greater deterrent for disobedience; we conclude that an E-collar is unnecessary for effective recall training. Given the additional potential risks to the animal's well-being associated with use of an E-collar (7,25,31,38,39), we conclude that dog training with these devices causes unnecessary suffering, due to the increased risk of a dog's wellbeing is compromised through their use, without good evidence of improved outcomes. ...
Article
Full-text available
We assessed the efficacy of dog training with and without remote electronic collars compared to training with positive reinforcement. A total of 63 dogs with known off-lead behavioral problems such as poor recall were allocated to one of three training groups (each n = 21), receiving up to 150 min of training over 5 days to improve recall and general obedience. The 3 groups were: E-collar—manufacturer-nominated trainers who used electronic stimuli as part of their training program; Control 1—the same trainers following practices they would apply when not using electronic stimuli; and Control 2—independent, professional trainers who focused primarily on positive reinforcement for their training. Data collection focused on dogs' response to two commands: “Come” (recall to trainer) and “Sit” (place hindquarters on ground). These were the two most common commands used during training, with improving recall being the target behavior for the subject dogs. Measures of training efficacy included number of commands given to elicit the response and response latency. Control 2 achieved significantly better responses to both “Sit” and “Come” commands after a single instruction in the allocated time. These dogs also had shorter response latencies than the E-collar group. There was no significant difference in the proportion of command disobeyed between the three groups, although significantly fewer commands were given to the dogs in Control 2. There was no difference in the number of verbal cues used in each group, but Control 2 used fewer hand and lead signals, and Control 1 made more use of these signals than E-collar group. These findings refute the suggestion that training with an E-collar is either more efficient or results in less disobedience, even in the hands of experienced trainers. In many ways, training with positive reinforcement was found to be more effective at addressing the target behavior as well as general obedience training. This method of training also poses fewer risks to dog welfare and quality of the human-dog relationship. Given these results we suggest that there is no evidence to indicate that E-collar training is necessary, even for its most widely cited indication.
... Companion animals have been reported to be at risk of psychological (and physical) harm with the use of aversive methods of training or equipment [4,6,[8][9][10]. The use of shock collars, for example, has been reported to cause burns in dogs [11] along with fear and pain [12], which can have lasting negative associations for the dog's interactions with humans [12], other animals [13] and the environment [14]. There is little evidence that aversive training is more or as effective as rewardbased training [8], yet its usage is still common. ...
... Companion animals have been reported to be at risk of psychological (and physical) harm with the use of aversive methods of training or equipment [4,6,[8][9][10]. The use of shock collars, for example, has been reported to cause burns in dogs [11] along with fear and pain [12], which can have lasting negative associations for the dog's interactions with humans [12], other animals [13] and the environment [14]. There is little evidence that aversive training is more or as effective as rewardbased training [8], yet its usage is still common. ...
Article
Full-text available
Companion animals are at risk of psychological (and physical) harm if outdated, incorrect or aversive methods of training or equipment are used during training and behavioural modification. Companion animal guardians often engage professional animal behaviour and training services, yet this industry is not regulated in New Zealand. A voluntary national accreditation and registration programme could act to protect the welfare of animals by robustly evaluating the experience, qualifications and training methods of industry professionals. To investigate industry readiness for a national accreditation programme, we conducted an online survey and analysed the responses of 262 animal trainers, behavioural consultants, dog safety educators, veterinarians and veterinary nurses. A national accreditation programme, promoting the use of reward-based training and behavioural modification techniques, was generally supported, especially by individuals holding qualifications and membership of professional organisations. The implementation of such a programme would ensure that those seeking these services are able to source professionals that use best practice when it comes to training and behavioural modification, with lasting benefits to animal welfare.
... In this study, the specific vocalizations that were found to be significantly reduced with the use of dexmedetomidine oromucosal gel were whining, yelping, and grumbling. Whining and high-pitched yelps were identified as signs of stress or fear in dogs trained with shock collars or that anticipated a shock (Beerda et al., 1997;Schilder et al., 2004). Whining is an et-epimeletic sound used by puppies to communicate with their mother (Overall, 2013b;Houpt, 2018), whereas in adults, it is thought to possibly be related to mild frustration or a desire to escape (Houpt, 2018). ...
... Whining is an et-epimeletic sound used by puppies to communicate with their mother (Overall, 2013b;Houpt, 2018), whereas in adults, it is thought to possibly be related to mild frustration or a desire to escape (Houpt, 2018). Yelping has been recognized as a potential sign of pain, such as during an injection at the veterinary clinic or with application of shock (Stanford, 1981;Schilder et al., 2004). When yelping occurred during physical examinations in our study, it was always during the musculoskeletal portion of the examination or during an attempt to obtain the dog's rectal temperature. ...
Article
Visiting veterinary clinics has been demonstrated to be a stressful experience for the majority of dogs and is a common reason that owners delay treatment for their pets. The use of dexmedetomidine oromucosal gel has been shown to reduce stress during minor procedures at the veterinary clinic as well as alleviate acute anxiety and fear associated with noise in dogs. The objective of this study was to assess the efficacy of dexmedetomidine oromucosal gel in alleviating acute stress during standardized veterinary visits for physical examinations when administered by owners in the hospital. This study was a randomized, crossover, double-blinded, placebo–controlled trial. Forty client-owned healthy dogs with a history of anxiety and/or fear during veterinary visits presented for two visits and were randomized into two treatment groups. One treatment group received placebo at the first visit then dexmedetomidine oromucosal gel at the second visit and the other group received it in the reverse order. We video-recorded the dogs’ behavior during the duration of the physical examination and the video was analyzed by a blinded investigator, using an ethogram with predetermined stress-related behaviors. Mixed effect logistic regression was used to study the effect of dexmedetomidine oromucosal gel on the behavior categories during the physical examination. Age, sex, weight, noise level, and sedation scores were considered confounding factors. The random-effects were set on the level of the individual animal. Statistical significance was assumed for a value of p<0.05. Results showed that dexmedetomidine oromucosal gel significantly decreased the likelihood of dogs exhibiting the behavior categories of Stress/Fear Vocalization (whining, yelping, grumbling) (p<0.01), Avoidance Behaviors (oriented towards the door, attempting to exit the room, trying to jump from the table) (p<0.01), and Other Stress-related Activities (panting, trembling, urinating, defecating) (p=0.016) during the physical examination. Stress/Fear Vocalization occurred less frequently during the second visit compared to the first visit and was more likely to occur in dogs that were young and male. Dexmedetomidine oromucosal gel reduces signs of stress (vocalizations, avoidance behaviors, panting, trembling, urination, defecation) in dogs during veterinary examinations. By decreasing stress in dogs during physical examinations, we can diagnose more accurately and improve welfare for our patients.
... The first is triggered by the movement of a large animal close to the detector whereas the second relies on the predator being fitted with a radio-collar which triggers the lights and sounds when the animal approaches the area being protected. Such devices may elicit fear in the predators which could be a negative welfare impact depending on duration and subsequent effects on behavior such as interfering with feeding and use of space [88,89]. The use of some aversive methods can also have an impact on the welfare of the livestock or farmed fish which are being protected from predators [90,91] and this needs to be taken into consideration when choosing an aversive control method. ...
... Electric training collars have also been used on wolves [86]. These collars have caused domestic dogs to exhibit stress and pain in some circumstances [89] and it is possible that wolves could experience similar outcomes. However, some studies have found that results with wolves are highly variable [86]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The control of predators, on land and in the sea, is a complex topic. Both marine and terrestrial mammal predators come into conflict with humans in Europe in many ways and yet their situations are rarely compared. Areas of conflict include the predation of livestock and farmed fish, and the perceived competition for wild prey (for example wolves competing with hunters for deer and seals competing with fishermen for salmon). A lethal method (shooting) and non-lethal methods of conflict reduction (including enclosures, guarding, and aversion) used for terrestrial large carnivores (e.g., bear, wolf, wolverine, lynx) and marine mammals (seals) are discussed. Control measures tend to be species- and habitat-specific, although shooting is a widely used method. Potential impacts on predator welfare are described and welfare assessments which have been developed for other wildlife control scenarios, e.g., control of introduced species, are considered for their potential use in assessing predator control. Such assessments should be applied before control methods are chosen so that decisions prioritizing animal welfare can be made. Further work needs to be carried out to achieve appropriate and widely-accepted animal welfare assessment approaches and these should be included in predator management planning. Future research should include further sharing of approaches and information between terrestrial and marine specialists to help ensure that animal welfare is prioritized.
... In the GM method, the landmarks in space and their coordinates are analyzed, and when the markers are positioned on the horse's back, neck, and head, these landmarks refer to mentioned parts of the body [13,19,22]. As GM is focused not only on certain parts of the body but on the overall position of the body in space [13,19,23,24], recent research has applied GM to measuring several angles between different body parts [13,25,26], making measurements of animals posture less subjective and more adequate [13,19,23,[27][28][29]. In this study, the effect of three basic massage techniques (dorsal, ventral, and dorso-ventral) on a dorsal line of a horse's body was compared using the GM method. ...
Article
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Since interest in equine manual therapy and rehabilitation is constantly growing, the need for quantification of the horse’s postural response to used alternative therapy has increased. This study implemented geometric morphometrics (GM) for a dorsal profile comparison between the horse groups. The dorsal profile was represented by the centroid size and the centroid shape. The horse groups were defined using four classifiers: horse’s age, height at the withers, time lap in the massage session, and technique of the massage (dorsal, ventral, and dorso–ventral). Out of a total of 900 photographs of 20 horses, 180 photos were analyzed using GM, including thirty landmarks. Variation of the principal components (PCs) representing consecutive dorsal profiles were reported for the first three PSs as 59.50% for PC1, 14.36% for PC2, and 9.01% for PC3. The dorsal profiles differed depending on the classifier ‘height’ in terms of centroid size (p < 0.0001) as well as classifier ‘time’ (p < 0.0001) and classifier ‘technique’ (p < 0.0001) in terms of centroid shape, but not depending on the classifier ‘age’ (p > 0.05). GM allows visualizing the differences in the horses’ posture resulting from the selected manual rehabilitation techniques. The quantification of the horse’s body posture in the studied protocol indicates horses’ body posture after being warmed-up and massaged using the dorso–ventral technique is the most desirable.
... Masson et al. (2018) found that empirical evidence does not exist to support the use of E-collars, rather, many reasons exist not to use them, supported by empirical evidence. E-collars can induce pain, fear, anxiety, distress (Schilder & Van Der Borg, 2004), aggression (Polsky, 2000), phobias, learned helplessness (Seligman & Maier, 1967) and a deterioration of the human-dog bond. ...
Article
Abstract The popularity of puppies/dogs as companions/playmates/walking buddies was highlighted in Ireland with COVID-19 restrictions in March/2020, when the demand for puppies/dogs increased as people were confined to within 2/km of their homes. However, what was the rational supporting this trend, the influences/research undertaken by prospective owners? Two online-surveys were conducted, targeting veterinarians and behaviorists to establish motivation/attitude to owning dogs and behavioral issues being presented. Interviews by phone were conducted with the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Dog’s Trust and three Italian shelters for comparison purposes, to investigate the welfare of dogs during restrictions. An Garda Síochána (the National Police Service of Ireland) were contacted, to clarify the situation, in relation to dog theft and domestic abuse, which is strongly associated with animal abuse. Many factors may have influenced/impacted the epigenetic development of the behavior and resulting welfare of puppies/dogs, during this period.
... Malgré les controverses autour du sujet, particulièrement sur leur nom d'apaisement , on constate que, dans le livre de Rugaas et al. (2009) consacré aux signaux d'apaisement, la majorité d'entre eux correspondent à des comportements de stress dans la littérature comme le bâillement, le détournement de regard ou de tête, le pourléchage de babines, le fait de lever une patte Overall, 2018;Pastore et al., 2011;Schilder & van der Borg, 2004;Tod et al., 2005). ...
Thesis
La majorité des recherches sur la médiation animale se sont concentrées sur la validation des bénéfices de cette pratique pour la santé humaine en excluant le potentiel impact négatif de ce travail pour les chiens impliqués. Au sein de plusieurs recherches abordant les caractéristiques de la médiation animale, les représentations des intervenants sur leur pratique et le bien-être de leur chien ainsi qu’une étude de terrain, nous avons étudié les facteurs de risque pour le bien-être des chiens en médiation animale. Le premier chapitre montre que la médiation animale est une pratique hétérogène en tant qu’approche interspécifique complémentaire à d’autres prises en charge, mais qu’il est possible d’en faire une première catégorisation entre une spécialisation de professionnels du soin et une profession à part entière. Le deuxième chapitre suggère une place centrale de l’intervenant dans la sélection et le bien-être de son chien. En outre, l’interrogation des intervenants souligne la nécessité d’une prise en compte du bien-être des chiens en médiation animale à travers : l’environnement de travail, les interactions avec les bénéficiaires et l’intervenant lui-même. Le troisième chapitre pointe la nécessité d’une attention particulière sur les interactions entre les chiens et les bénéficiaires mais aussi avec l’intervenant lors des séances de médiation animale. De futures études sont nécessaires pour étudier les facteurs de risque pour le bien-être des chien en médiation animale en adoptant de nouvelles méthodologies interdisciplinaires et collaboratives.
... Por su parte, en la literatura se ha revisado en profundidad el proceso de aprendizaje canino como un aspecto de interés (Tolman, 1925;Mackintosh, 1974;Dickinson, 1980); (Castro & Wasserman, 2010); (Pearce, 2013); no obstante, los dispositivos de entrenamiento como apoyo para lograr conductas deseadas han sido controvertidos, entre estos el collar electrónico Hughes, 2003); (Schalke et al., 2007), que genera estrés y conductas no deseadas (Schilder & Van der Borg, 2004); además, las características técnicas difieren según marcas y modelos, lo que hace aún más difícil el proceso de entrenamiento (Lines et al., 2013;Riepl, 2013). En contraposición, algunos autores, como Salgrili Rev. Crim. ...
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.
... Por su parte, en la literatura se ha revisado en profundidad el proceso de aprendizaje canino como un aspecto de interés (Tolman, 1925;Mackintosh, 1974;Dickinson, 1980); (Castro & Wasserman, 2010); (Pearce, 2013); no obstante, los dispositivos de entrenamiento como apoyo para lograr conductas deseadas han sido controvertidos, entre estos el collar electrónico Hughes, 2003); (Schalke et al., 2007), que genera estrés y conductas no deseadas (Schilder & Van der Borg, 2004); además, las características técnicas difieren según marcas y modelos, lo que hace aún más difícil el proceso de entrenamiento (Lines et al., 2013;Riepl, 2013). En contraposición, algunos autores, como Salgrili et al. (2012), defienden su utilidad afirmando que contribuyen significativamente a la corrección de comportamientos de forma más efectiva que otros dispositivos similares. ...
Article
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Over its fifty years of established existence beginning in 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has expounded its consolidated and integrated model in political relations, economic developments, and cultural values. However, confronted by threats to global security, ASEAN has also faced the complex impacts of transnational narcotics trafficking (TransNT). The study uses grey literature as secondary data to illustrate the current situations of TransNT in Southeast Asia by way of examining drug trafficking starting from the original countries (Myanmar) through the transit points (Vietnam) to final destination countries (Malaysia). Besides reviewing more than four decades of collaboration, the paper analyses ASEAN’s milestones in building its cooperative mechanism and assesses its institutional framework for combatting TransNT with specific initiatives. The study notes the main barriers and practical challenges that constrain the process of regional cooperation. Some brief recommendations are also suggested for further research in the near future to enhance regional cooperation in combatting transnational crimes.
... In the absence of access to water or food, the dog may search for them in inappropriate places such as toilets or garbage cans. Strengthening inappropriate feeding behaviors (including the speed of food, amount of food given, bowl positioning, etc.) can lead to stomach twists, choking, aggression, fighting for food and defending the bowl, stress, and asking for food [22,[57][58][59][60]. ...
Article
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Aggression as a behavior is not always desirable, often ends in abandonment and/or euthanasia. However, it is possible to prevent the occurrence of unwanted aggression in domestic dogs. Aggression is not a fully understood phenomenon. In recent years, many studies have focused on the influence of diet and physiology (including the endocrine system) on the emergence of behavioral disorders. In particular, the emphasis was put on nutritional additives such as fatty acids, amino acids, and probiotics. In addition, the possibility of using neurocognition in the observation of abnormal behavior in dogs has also been discussed, which may allow for a more detailed determination of the basis of aggressive behavior in dogs. In this review, the concepts related to aggression and its potential causes have been gathered. In addition, the possible influence of diet and hormones on aggression in dogs has been discussed, as well as the application of neurocognition in the possibility of its diagnosis
... An ethogram for aggression (biting and threatening aggressions, Netto and Planta, 1997, Table 1) and the dog's posture (Beerda et al., 1998, Table 2) were used. Only the highest level of aggression (Netto and Planta, 1997) and the dog's lowest posture (Schilder and Van der Borg, 2004) during each ST were scored. ...
... Dog behavior included number of times dogs were distracted, body posture after first appetitive and first aversive stimulus, and trainingrelated behaviors (mouth-licking, tongue out, yawning, lifting front paw, replacement behavior, jumping, opening and closing mouth) [39,56]. Body posture, defined as high, neutral, half-low, low, or very low (described by [56]) was observed for 3 seconds, and the lowest observed position was scored as an event [39,56,57]. Observations were repeated after a 20-day period, with no training occurring during that period, to evaluate reliability of observations. ...
... There are also some indications that the use of more aversive methods of training have direct impacts on the welfare of dogs. For example, German Shepherds trained with electronic ("shock") collars were shown to display more behavioural signs of fear towards their handlers than those trained with other methods 12 , and dogs showed increases in cortisol when handlers tended to use discipline during interactions as compared to engaging in more affiliative play 13 . However, there are often difficulties in interpreting behavioural and physiological indicators of welfare, particularly when single indicators are used. ...
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.
... During the training sessions, the dogs' owners were instructed about the risks of the use of punishment, confrontational methods, choke collars, and negative reinforcement. Consequently, the welfare of these dogs was less likely to be negatively affected, and similarly, the bond between owner and dog was strengthened (Blackwell et al., 2008;Deldalle and Gaunet, 2014;Grohmann et al., 2013;Herron et al., 2009;Schilder and van der Borg, 2004). The attendance at puppy socialization classes has been related to a higher retention at home (Duxbury et al., 2003) as it facilitates dog-owner coexistence. ...
Chapter
These proceedings contain oral and poster presentations from various experts on animal behaviour and animal welfare in veterinary medicine presented at the conference.
... The antagonistic ventral movement of the ear pinnae, Ears downward, as well as Ears flattener were more common in the negative condition. The Ears flattener (i.e., backwardsdirected ears) has been suggested to be associated with appeasement, submission, fear, anxiety, and stress in dogs (although empirical evidence supporting these functions is not always provided) (e.g., Beerda et al. 1998;Firnkes et al. 2017;Flint et al. 2018;Gähwiler et al. 2020;Landsberg et al. 2015;Schilder and Van Der Borg 2004;Siniscalchi et al. 2018;Tami and Gallagher 2009). Therefore, the available evidence suggests that flattened ears are frequently associated with negatively valenced states, and thus, this expression could be suitable for developing indicators of negative emotions in dogs. ...
Article
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Facial expressions potentially serve as indicators of animal emotions if they are consistently present across situations that (likely) elicit the same emotional state. In a previous study, we used the Dog Facial Action Coding System (DogFACS) to identify facial expressions in dogs associated with conditions presumably eliciting positive anticipation (expectation of a food reward) and frustration (prevention of access to the food). Our first aim here was to identify facial expressions of positive anticipation and frustration in dogs that are context-independent (and thus have potential as emotion indicators) and to distinguish them from expressions that are reward-specific (and thus might relate to a motivational state associated with the expected reward). Therefore, we tested a new sample of 28 dogs with a similar set-up designed to induce positive anticipation (positive condition) and frustration (negative condition) in two reward contexts: food and toys. The previous results were replicated: Ears adductor was associated with the positive condition and Ears flattener, Blink, Lips part, Jaw drop, and Nose lick with the negative condition. Four additional facial actions were also more common in the negative condition. All actions except the Upper lip raiser were independent of reward type. Our second aim was to assess basic measures of diagnostic accuracy for the potential emotion indicators. Ears flattener and Ears downward had relatively high sensitivity but low specificity, whereas the opposite was the case for the other negative correlates. Ears adductor had excellent specificity but low sensitivity. If the identified facial expressions were to be used individually as diagnostic indicators, none would allow consistent correct classifications of the associated emotion. Diagnostic accuracy measures are an essential feature for validity assessments of potential indicators of animal emotion.
... Incidental effects from the use of aversives have been documented in the basic research literature, such as elicited conspecific aggression (153), fear of punishment associated stimuli (154), and substantial suppression of all behavior within a punishment context (39,154,155). Growing applied literature with dogs highlights that positive reinforcement based training is effective and the use of aversives can have negative welfare side effects for the dog (156)(157)(158)(159)(160)(161). This highlights the need to further consider not only how to motivate working dog behavior (e.g., does the dog engage in the behavior to receive a reward or to avoid a correction), but also which methods produce the best performance and welfare outcomes for working dogs. ...
Article
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Dogs are trained for a variety of working roles including assistance, protection, and detection work. Many canine working roles, in their modern iterations, were developed at the turn of the 20th century and training practices have since largely been passed down from trainer to trainer. In parallel, research in psychology has advanced our understanding of animal behavior, and specifically canine learning and cognition, over the last 20 years; however, this field has had little focus or practical impact on working dog training. The aims of this narrative review are to (1) orient the reader to key advances in animal behavior that we view as having important implications for working dog training, (2) highlight where such information is already implemented, and (3) indicate areas for future collaborative research bridging the gap between research and practice. Through a selective review of research on canine learning and behavior and training of working dogs, we hope to combine advances from scientists and practitioners to lead to better, more targeted, and functional research for working dogs.
... A number of studies have also highlighted the link between aversive training methods and signs of negative emotional states in dogs. For example, dogs trained by military dog handlers had a significantly lower body posture, associated with anxiety and appeasement (Schilder and Van Der Borg, 2004), after the use of aversive methods like pulling on the lead and verbal scolding compared to following reward-based methods like physical praise (Haverbeke et al., 2008). Sound blasts, like those used as a tool for correcting unwanted behaviour, have been shown to produce physiological stress responses in dogs (Beerda et al., 1998). ...
Article
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The majority of owners use rewards (e.g. treats and praise) when training their dogs. However, many additionally use aversive methods (e.g. physical reprimands, sound/spray distractions) which can compromise the welfare of dogs. The aim of this study was to identify factors associated with owner-reported use of aversive training methods. A study was conducted using data provided by owners living in the UK or Republic of Ireland participating in a longitudinal study (‘Generation Pup’). Data from a registration questionnaire completed when puppies were ≤16 weeks of age, and a follow-up questionnaire completed when dogs were nine-months of age were analysed. Responses to questions about owners’ intended/actual use of different training methods at each time point were grouped into two categories. ‘Reward only’ training: positive reinforcement (PR; increasing behaviour through application of rewarding stimulus) and/or negative punishment (NP; decreasing behaviour through removal of rewarding stimulus), and’ reward and aversive’ training: >2 methods of positive punishment (PP; decreasing behaviour by application of aversive stimulus) and/or negative reinforcement (NR; increasing behaviour through removal of aversive stimulus). Associations between training approach (’reward only’ / ‘reward and aversive’) and potential owner-related risk factors were modelled using multivariable logistic regression. Data from 2,154 owners at registration were collected, and a follow-up questionnaire for 9-month-old dogs were completed by 976 owners. At registration, 99.7% of owners reported their intention to use PR and/or NP, and 84.1% intended to use PP and/or NR. At 9 months, 99.7% of owners reported using PR and/or NP, and 74.2% used PP and/or NR. Data were available for 161 owners at both time points, of which 80% reported the same training approach in both questionnaires. At 9 months, not attending training or puppy classes in the previous 2-months (Odds Ratio = 3.16, 95% Confidence Interval = 2.18-4.59, P < 0.001), and not having dog-related employment (Odds Ratio = 2.70, 95% Confidence Interval = 1.53-4.77, P = 0.001) were associated with increased odds of reporting a reward and aversive approach. Owners aged 55 years or more were twice as likely as those younger than 55 (Odds Ratio = 1.93, 95% Confidence Interval = 1.29-2.87, P = 0.001), and male owners were three times as likely as female owners (Odds Ratio = 3.10, 95% Confidence Interval = 1.52-6.36, P = 0.002) to use a reward and aversive training approach. Owners reporting a reward and aversive training approach was common within this cohort. Increased awareness of optimal training approaches for dogs is needed, especially for older, male owners, who have not accessed puppy training classes.
... Based on a litany of evidence in animal (and human) literature, dog training, regardless of age, should be free of fear, pain, and intimidation allowing the learner freedom to make mistakes (trial-and-error learning) without fear of retribution, which interferes with long-term learning [5,6,18,19]. Application of positive training methods, including reward-based operant conditioning, counterconditioning, desensitization, shaping, and luring, has proven effective in improving learning and compliance, lowering distress, and reducing long-term conflict between humans and animals. ...
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).
... Sargisson and McLean's point that China et al. (2) did not present data on dog welfare is correct, but again this does not recognize the already published work from our research group and others, which we cite in the paper [e.g., (10,16,18)], that address this issue. These report evidence of adverse behavioral responses during training, such as vocalizations and sudden body movements consistent with pain, as well as longer term changes in behavior that were consistent with anxiety or distress when returned to the training environment. ...
Article
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In their commentary, Sargisson and McLean (2021) object to our conclusion that the use of e-collars are unnecessary in dog training (China et al 2020). Their criticisms make 4 broad claims: firstly that the training approaches were not the most effective means of training with e-collars; secondly that the paper focussed on measures of efficacy and did not present data on welfare; thirdly that the study did not include long term measures of efficacy; and fourthly our statistical approaches were not appropriate. Sargisson and McLean (2021) also question whether the research should be used to inform policy decisions with regard to use of e-collars in dog training, although we were cautious not to make any specific recommendations regarding legislation in our paper. We shall deal with each of these objections in turn, placing the first three in the context of the research project as well as related published work, clarifying the statistical approaches as there appear to be misunderstandings by Sargisson and McLean (2021) and finally relating the research to policy implications.
... Corrections may also include force, such as seen in jerking the leash, hitting or kicking the dog. Particularly corrections using force may by themselves lead to stress, pain and/or fear (Schilder & Van der Borg, 2004;Haverbeke et al., 2008;Vieira de Castro et al., 2020) and thus cause welfare issues (Vieira de Castro et al., 2020). Additionally, welfare issues may arise from the dog aggressing in response to the corrections (Herron et al., 2009), resulting in higher relinquishment risk (Coe et al., 2014;Lambert et al., 2015). ...
Article
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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.
... Anti-bark collars employ different modes of deterrence from barking (e.g., electronic, ultrasonic, aversive spray), some are automatic (bark activated) and others are activated remotely by the owner, but all work on the principle of positive punishment (P + ) of the unwanted behavior. It is noteworthy that P + , while sometimes controlling the moment, does not help long-term in the treatment of aggression and may even result in long-term deleterious effects ( Schilder and Van der Borg, 2004 ;Hiby et al., 2004 ;Blackwell et al., 2008 ;Ziv, 2017 ;Makowska. 2018 ). ...
Article
In this follow up study we investigate a subset of 963 dogs whose owners (n = 800) described as having at least one form of aggressive behavior. We were particularly interested in learning which types of professionals, if any, were sought for assistance for the presenting behavior. Owners were also asked to indicate the resolutions employed, including training methods and equipment, behavior modification programs, behavior modification and training techniques, medications, and forms of alternative medicine. Using a self-reported questionnaire, both cohesive and dispersive aggressive behaviors were investigated including conflict aggression (CA), interdog housemate aggression (HA), fear aggression toward people (FA), fear aggression toward dogs (FAD), and predatory aggression (PA). Fifty-three percent of dogs with reported aggressive behaviors were mixed breeds. The study sample was 56% male, a majority (91%) of which were neutered. Most commonly, the dogs with reported aggressive behaviors were the sole dog in the household. Fifty-six percent of dogs were brought to at least one professional for remedial assistance. Of the owners that sought help from a DACVB, a majority (81%) found the advice to be helpful for treating their dog's aggression. Fifteen percent of dogs brought to veterinarians for advice about behavior problems were found to have an underlying medical problem contributing to the dog's misbehavior. As far as training equipment was concerned, we found that anti-bark collars and muzzles decreased the probability for successful treatment of aggression. Thirty-six percent of dogs were exposed to behavior modification programs as a form of treatment and an association was found between employment of a systematic desensitization and counterconditioning for treatment of overall aggression. When employing behavior modification training techniques, response blocking was found to decrease probability for improvement when employed for treatment of fear aggression to other dogs and predatory aggression. Improved dog-owner communication, habituation, relaxation protocols, and short and frequent training sessions were the most consistently beneficial behavior modification techniques. At least one beneficial behavior modification technique was identified for each investigated form of aggression. Twenty-one percent of dogs received medication as a form of treatment for aggression. Surprisingly, we failed to find any significant associations between treatment response and the administration of specific medications. When investigating alternative medicines, we found nutraceuticals to be helpful when treating overall aggression.
... Examples of such behaviors include yawning without other signs of drowsiness, paw lifting, body shaking without a waterlogged fur, and walking around erratically [30,31]. The performance of these behaviors has further been linked to a state of either conflict, confusion, or fear in dogs [32], which can, in turn, be used to determine if an individual dog is either physically or mentally able to cope with the situation it is currently in. ...
Article
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Only a few studies have investigated the welfare of animals participating in animal-assisted interventions (AAIs). Most of these studies focus on dogs in therapeutic settings. There are, however, also dogs—service dogs—that are employed to continuously support a single human. Because the welfare of these service dogs is important for the sustainability of their role, the aim of this study was to investigate their stress response to service dog training sessions. To do this, we took repeated salivary cortisol samples from dogs who participated in a training session (n = 19). Samples were taken just after arrival at the training ground, before training, after training, and after a period of free play. Our results showed that mean cortisol levels in all samples were relatively low (between 1.55 ± 1.10 and 2.73 ± 1.47 nmol/L) compared to similar studies. Analysis further showed that samples taken before and after participation in the training’s session did not differ from one another. Mean cortisol levels in both situations were additionally lower than those upon arrival at the training site and after a period of free play. This led to the conclusion that the dogs in our study did not seem to experience training as stressful.
... Previous studies have shown that dogs trained using the negative reinforcement method exhibited stress, compared with dogs trained using positive reinforcement techniques [18]. Dogs demonstrate stress and stress-related behaviors in various ways, including a low posture, licking, and yawning [18,24]. In this study, the social training of dogs via food reinforcement was much more effective in both the HS and LS groups. ...
Article
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of sociality level in dogs using food reinforcement. The companion dogs living mostly inside (IS) and those living mostly outside (OS) groups were further classified into high sociality (HS) and low sociality (LS) groups using a social test. The data were analyzed by observing videos of the dogs and recording nine categories of sociality. Passive; activity; and communication tasks were measured in terms of the time the dog first contacted the trainer; the time it took for the dog to approach within 1 m of the trainer, and the time the dog remained in contact. The IS and OS groups showed no significant differences in any category; except for close to trainer within 1 m of the active phase. However, in a comparison between the overall HS and LS groups; significant positive changes were observed in all items except for the first contact time to the trainer of the passive and active phase. This is an important result of the sociality level; as positive results can be predicted not only in a dog’s ability to adapt to the environment but also in the communication and training exchanges between dogs and humans
... In this study, owners who reported using a combination of positive reinforcement and positive punishment or positive punishment only, had increased odds of reporting a problem behaviour in their dog in the 9-months questionnaire compared with owners who reported that they used positive reinforcement only. 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). ...
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.
... In addition, even though a technique might be effective, it could still have an emotionally negative impact on the subject. A clear example for this is the use of positive punishment: it is effective (an animal reduces the likelihood of showing a specific behavior), but the impact on an animal's affective state can be detrimental (Schilder and van der Borg 2004;Blackwell and Casey 2006). Generally, training which is based mostly on positive reinforcement (as in the case of clicker training) has been associated with improved animal welfare (e.g., Gillis et al. 2012;Prescott and Buchanan-Smith 2003). ...
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Clicker training is considered a welfare-friendly way of teaching novel behaviors to animals because it is mostly based on the positive reinforcement. However, trainers largely vary in their way of applying this training technique. According to the most, a reward (e.g., food) should follow every click, while others claim that dogs learn faster when the reward is sometimes omitted. One argument against the use of partial rewarding is that it induces frustration in the animal, raising concerns over its welfare consequences. Here, we investigated the effect of partial rewarding not only on training efficacy (learning speed), but also on dogs' affective state. We clicker-trained two groups of dogs: one group received food after every click while the other group received food only 60% of the time. Considering previous evidence of the influencing role of personality on reactions to frustrated expectations, we included measurements of dogs' emotional reactivity. We compared the number of trials needed to reach a learning criterion and their pessimistic bias in a cognitive bias test. No difference between the two groups emerged in terms of learning speed; however, dogs that were partially rewarded during clicker training showed a more pessimistic bias than dogs that were continuously rewarded. Generally, emotional reactivity was positively associated with a more pessimistic bias. Partial rewarding does not improve training efficacy, but it is associated with a negatively valenced affective state, bringing support to the hypothesis that partial rewarding might negatively affect dogs' welfare.
... As a result, environmental management is currently the only recommendation for reliably preventing PB expression in dogs with this tendency (Landsberg et al., 2013;Overall, 2013). Aversive training methods, such as e-collars, may successfully reduce PB, as demonstrated in one study (Christiansen et al., 2001a); however, this risks creating a highly anxious and potentially unpredictable dog (Schilder and van der Borg, 2004). It is also contrary to the practices of many GAPs, which do not support use of aversive training methods (e.g. ...
Article
Greyhounds retired from the racing industry, or who are deemed unsuitable for racing, can make good companion animals. However, some greyhounds have a strong predilection towards predatory behaviour (PB), a motor pattern associated with the catching and consuming of prey. This tendency can negatively impact whether the dog is deemed suitable for adoption. Very few published studies have examined whether it is possible to prevent PB in dogs with this tendency, and those published studies made use of aversive techniques which are counter to the aims of many greyhound adoption programs (GAPs). The aim of this study was to measure dog behaviour experts’ opinions about the nature of PB, factors affecting its expression, and whether it can be prevented using a variety of different training and management methods. In an online survey (N = 84 respondents) and follow-up interviews (N = 12), experts generally agreed that PB is self-rewarding and unrelated to aggression of any kind, but some indicated that it could be related to play. Participants also reported that early socialisation towards small animals, and being rewarded for not chasing small animals as a young puppy, had the strongest influence on preventing PB expression in adult dogs. When asked whether it is possible to prevent PB in dogs with a history of engaging in it, experts who used only positive, reward-based techniques were typically (but not exclusively) more pessimistic about preventing PB than experts who incorporate both aversive and reward-based methods into their training practices. In line with existing recommendations for preventing PB, experts indicated that effectively managing a dog’s environment such that it never has an opportunity to engage in PB is the best way to prevent the behaviour. Contrary to expectations, experts reported that many adoptive owners would be willing and able to manage their dog’s environment in this way. They argued that PB tendency should therefore not rule out the possibility of adoption, provided that the new owners are educated about the risks of PB and that regular maintenance checks occur to ensure that dogs continue to be appropriately managed. These results could provide guidance for GAPs looking to increase the number of greyhounds that are adopted as pets.
... Wyrwicka, 2000), a close relative to wolves, and could help us design methods less incline to habituation or failure than the one tested so far. For example, shock collars have been tested on dogs and their behavioural stress response monitored (Beerda et al., 1998;Overall, 2007;Schilder and van der Borg, 2004). A research team in the Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology also works with both captive wolves and dogs in parallel and compares the two species (e.g. ...
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PhD Project draft, principles of the methods I intend to use, remaining uncertainties, background literature review...
... Owners who utilize positive-punishment-based training techniques in an attempt to change aggressive behavior are likely to place themselves at increased risk of injury (Blackwell et al., 2008;Herron, Shofer, & Reisner, 2009) and risk harming their relationship with their pet (Todd, 2018). Despite considerable evidence to suggest that the use of punishment-based dog training techniques has negative effects on animal welfare (Blackwell et al., 2012;Deldalle & Gaunet, 2014;Hiby, Rooney, & Bradshaw, 2004;Schilder & van der Borg, 2004;Todd, 2018;Ziv, 2017), as many as 72% of dog owners have previously reported using some form of positive punishment to modify their pet's behavior (Blackwell et al., 2008). ...
Article
Aggressive behavior in pet dogs is a serious problem for dog owners across the globe, with bite injuries representing a serious risk to both people and other dogs. The effective management of aggressive behavior in dogs represents a challenging and controversial issue. Although positive reinforcement training methods are now considered to be the most effective and humane technique to manage the risk of aggression, punishment‐based methods continue to be used. Unfortunately, there has been little scientific study into the various factors influencing whether dog owners choose to use positive reinforcement techniques to manage aggression in their dogs. As such, current understanding of how best to encourage and support dog owners to use these methods remains extremely limited. This article uses a survey methodology based on protection motivation theory (PMT) to investigate the factors that influence owner use of positive reinforcement methods to manage aggressive behavior, in an attempt to understand potential barriers and drivers of use. In addition, the article provides an initial exploration of the potential role of wider psychological factors, including owner emotional state, social influence, and cognitive bias. Findings show that the perceived efficacy of positive reinforcement methods and the perceived ability of owners to effectively implement the technique are both key factors predicting future intentions and current reported use. Future interventions should focus on enhancing owner confidence in the effective use of positive reinforcement techniques across multiple scenarios, as well as helping owners manage their own emotional responses when they encounter challenging situations and setbacks.
... During the training sessions, the dogs' owners were instructed about the risks of the use of punishment, confrontational methods, choke collars, and negative reinforcement. Consequently, the welfare of these dogs was less likely to be negatively affected, and similarly, the bond between owner and dog was strengthened (Blackwell et al., 2008;Deldalle and Gaunet, 2014;Grohmann et al., 2013;Herron et al., 2009;Schilder and van der Borg, 2004). The attendance at puppy socialization classes has been related to a higher retention at home (Duxbury et al., 2003) as it facilitates dog-owner coexistence. ...
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This study was designed to assess the effect of puppies and juvenile dogs' attendance at puppy classes on the behavior of the dogs at their adult age. For this purpose, 80 dogs (32 of which had attended puppy classes and the other 48 had not) were evaluated using the Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire that was filled out by owners 1 year after the completion of the puppy training. Dogs that attended classes were categorized as puppies (≤3 months) (n = 15) or juveniles (>3 months) (n = 17). Ordinal regression models were used to estimate the influence of puppy classes on the different behavioral traits assessed by the Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire. The results indicated that both puppies and juveniles that have attended classes had more favorable scores for family-dog aggression, trainability, nonsocial fear, and touch sensitivity. The study showed that attending puppy class may be important for social exposure with other puppies and people which could have an association with the dog's long-term behavior.
Chapter
Our relationship with dogs runs thousands of years deep. Today, we might know dogs intimately as members of our human family, but we can also know and consider dogs on their own terms, as members of Canis familiaris , with a unique evolutionary history and species‐specific characteristics and needs. This chapter is a resource for all types of dog knowers and caretakers. It relies heavily on empirical research to anchor readers in the foundations of canine behavior—such as dog behavioral development, normal dog behavior, factors influencing behavior, and relationships with people—and considers how these topics affect dogs of all ages and backgrounds who find themselves in the shelter environment.
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The objective was to study the stress level in dogs during grooming services in a pet shop. A total of 55 grooming services carried out in a pet shop in the city of Janaúba, MG, were evaluated and divided into four categories according to sex and body weight. The flowchart of the grooming process contained six steps that began with the transportation of dogs to the pet shop and finished with their return to the place of origin. Behavioral, physiological, and blood component evaluations were performed at different steps of the process. Changes in dog behavior and physiological parameters were observed primarily upon arrival at the pet shop and during drying. Employee characteristics also influenced dogs’ behaviors. However, dogs were able to thermoregulate and maintain the homeostasis of leukocytes, glucose and cortisol in the blood. animal behavior; animal welfare; cortisol; pets; physiological parameters
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During two retreats in 2017 and 2020, a group of international scientists convened to explore the Human-Animal Bond. The meetings, hosted by the Wallis Annenberg PetSpace Leadership Institute, took a broad view of the human-dog relationship and how interactions between the two may benefit us medically, psychologically or through their service as working dogs (e.g. guide dogs, explosive detection, search and rescue, cancer detection). This Frontiers’ Special Topic has collated the presentations into a broad collection of 14 theoretical and review papers summarizing the latest research and practice in the historical development of our deepening bond with dogs, the physiological and psychological changes that occur during human-dog interactions (to both humans and dogs) as well as the selection, training and welfare of companion animals and working dogs. The overarching goals of this collection are to contribute to the current standard of understanding of human-animal interaction, suggest future directions in applied research, and to consider the interdisciplinary societal implications of the findings.
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Context Accidental poisoning of domestic dogs is a potential risk when using baits to control invasive animals. We developed and trialled an electrical device attached to a non-toxic bait to assess whether we could induce a learned aversion towards baits in conservation-working dogs. Aims We tested the device on conservation-working dogs licenced to enter conservation estate as part of feral pig control, and consequently are potentially exposed to lethal baits for controlling red foxes. Methods Over 1 year (up to seven separate training sessions per dog), 27 dogs were sequentially presented with electrified and non-electrified non-toxic baits and their behavioural responses were recorded. On-farm training (Days 0, 1, 7, Months 1, 12) comprised dogs being called by their owner standing nearby the electrified bait. If the dog touched the bait and demonstrated aversive behaviour (we assume that it received an electric shock or ‘correction’), it was then presented with a non-electrified bait. If they ate either bait, they were shown another electrified bait (up to three electrified baits per session). Key results Seventeen dogs (17/27) touched the bait and received a correction. Eleven dogs required only a single correction and did not touch another bait, three dogs needed two corrections, and two dogs needed three or four corrections. These 17 dogs showed increasing avoidance to the bait over successive training sessions (χ212 = 67.96, P < 0.001), including avoiding looking at the bait, refusing to come within 5–10 m of the bait and their owner, or leaving the training vicinity. All these dogs (17/17) avoided baits encountered in a working environment (1/17 touched but did not consume a bait) and bait-aversion was still detected up to 1-year post-initial training. Nine dogs (9/27) did not appear to receive a correction or show any change in bait-aversion behaviour. One dog (1/27) showed no aversion to the stimulus and continued to eat baits. Conclusions Here we present a proof of concept for a deterrent device and associated experimental protocol to produce learned aversion behaviour in conservation-working dogs. Implications We demonstrated that it is possible to induce a learned aversion to baits in conservation-working dogs, thereby reducing the risk of accidental poisoning.
Article
In some guide dog organisations, future guide dogs for blind individuals are required to undergo separation from their foster family from Monday to Friday as part of their training. These separations and the constantly changing environment may induce stress, thus impacting the welfare of these dogs and their performance. The aim of this study was therefore to evaluate this stress through physiological and behavioural measures. The results showed a significant increase in salivary cortisol levels at the time of separation (GLMM; DF = 2; F = 10.31; p < 0.0001). Additionally, the dogs were more passive on Friday than on other days (GLMM; DF = 2; F = 7.53; p = 0.0090), and “head movements” were expressed less frequently on Fridays (GLMM; DF = 2; F = 5.12; p = 0.0141). Performance increased across weeks, despite a lower “focused” score on Mondays (GLMM; DF = 2; F = 4.39; p = 0.0243). These results showed both adaptation to life in the kennel and that the dogs need to readapt to the situation each week. The increase in serotonin levels during the 3 weeks of testing (GLMM; DF = 2; F = 4.87; p = 0.0224) may also indicate that the dogs can adapt to the kennel environment. Therefore, this study questions the relevance of noncontinuous training programmes. In future research, it would be interesting to compare these results with those of a group of dogs staying at school on weekends.
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Repellents that contain capsaicin are used as one of the measures against feeding damage due to deer ; however, their concentrations differ among deer animals. In this study, we investigated the effect of capsaicin concentration on the behavior of deer feeding. Four adult bred female deer were tested, and 8mL of habanero extract (control, 0% ; 0.062% ; 0.62% ; 6.2%) with different concentrations was sprayed on 300g of solid feed using the Latin square method, and the feeding behavior of deer was investigated. The results showed that the concentrations in the 0.62% and 6.2% treatments were significantly lower than those in the control and 0.062% treatment (P<0.05). It also, the difference was the same until the 3rd day after the start of the experiment, but on the 4th day, no significant difference was observed between the control, 0.062%, and 0.62% treatments. The tongue licking behavior was highest in the 6.2% treatments compared to the other treatment groups (P<0.05). Therefore, it was clarified that the habanero extract used in this study suppresses the feeding behavior of deer at a concentration of 0.62% or more, but when presented for 4 days or more, the effect may become accustomed.
Chapter
Meeting the physical and emotional needs of a therapy animal requires knowledge of species-typical behaviors. Though to ensure optimal welfare, an awareness of perceptive abilities and signs of stress and fear is necessary to avoid negative emotional states. This information can help those utilizing AAI to select appropriate species for patients and with the implementation of management practices to ensure the welfare of therapy animals. In order to provide a biological perspective on behavior, a review of emotional processing and memory is provided. The intention was to serve as a reminder that every experience shapes perception and for therapy animals every AAI should be perceived as positive. Lastly, training of therapy animals and reinforcement of appropriate and desired behaviors should be positive as it is more effective and humane than punitive methods, such as positive punishment. Learning the behavioral and social needs of a species will undoubtedly provide useful information to safeguard the welfare of therapy animals.
Article
We investigated the inhibitory effect of capsaicin fertilizer on feeding in deer. We tested four captive adult female deer. In Experiment 1, in addition to the treatment (intact) containing only a solid feed (HC), we mixed the fertilizer not containing capsaicin (F) or the capsaicin fertilizer (CF) in the solid feed. In addition, the solid feed was put on a wire net that capsaicin fertilizer was placed 5 cm below (SCF). We investigated their feeding behavior response. In Experiment 2, we changed the amount of substance (fertilizer and capsaicin fertilizer) mixed in the HC. We mixed different amounts (0, 50, 100, and 200 g) of the treatments other than the intact with HC and presented them to the deer, and investigated their feeding behavior response. In Experiment 1, intake in the F and CF decreased (p < .05). In Experiment 2, HC intake was significantly lower in the 100 and 200 g CF (p < .05). However, HC intake relatively increased by the last day in the CF 200 g too. The capsaicin fertilizer decreased the feeding behavior of deer by directly touching the mucous membranes of the deer nose and lips. However, the effects were decreased over time.
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.
Article
We characterized the reward patterns of dogs’ owners for the expression of desired behaviors of their pets through a questionnaire made available online on a social media page for 7 days (responses from over 66,676 owners). The questions were related to the type and frequency of rewards that pet owners applied and what specific dogs’ behaviors were rewarded. Desired behaviors of dogs were frequently reported to be rewarded. Responding correctly to commands and playing with their own toys were behaviors reported to be rewarded more frequently by owners than eliminating in appropriate places, a behavior perceived commonly just later. Moreover, owners reported that they rewarded more frequently by petting and praising the dogs and less frequently by applying a combination of giving both food and toys to their dogs. Thus, dog owners commonly reward desired behaviors by petting and prasing the dogs, most likely because it is the most convenient reward to use. Moreover, rewarding is more common when dogs express desired behaviors more immediately perceived by owners, which has welfare implications for these companion animals.
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There is a growing number of dogs kept as companion animals, and the methods by which they are trained range broadly from those using mostly positive punishment and negative reinforcement (aversive-based methods) to those using primarily positive reinforcement (reward-based methods). Although the use of aversive-based methods has been strongly criticized for negatively affecting dog welfare, these claims do not find support in solid scientific evidence. Previous research on the subject lacks companion dog-focused research, investigation of the entire range of aversive-based techniques (beyond shock-collars), objective measures of welfare, and long-term welfare studies. The aim of the present study was to perform a comprehensive evaluation of the short- and long-term effects of aversive- and reward-based training methods on companion dog welfare. Ninety-two companion dogs were recruited from three reward-based (Group Reward, n=42) and four aversive-based (Group Aversive, n=50) dog training schools. For the short-term welfare assessment, dogs were video recorded for three training sessions and six saliva samples were collected, three at home (baseline levels) and three after the training sessions (post-training levels). Video recordings were then 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 the long-term welfare assessment, dogs performed a cognitive bias task. Dogs from Group Aversive displayed more stress-related behaviors, spent more time in tense and low behavioral states and more time panting during the training sessions, showed higher elevations in cortisol levels after training and were more ‘pessimistic’ in the cognitive bias task than dogs from Group Reward. These findings indicate that the use of aversive-based methods compromises the welfare of companion dogs in both the short- and the long-term.
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Six weeks of social and spatial restriction were used as a model to induce chronic stress in Beagles. Behavioral and physiological measurements were performed during a period of enriched spacious outdoor housing in groups (GH) and during a subsequent period of solitary housing in small indoor kennels (IH). Behavioral parameters that may indicate chronic stress in dogs are reported. During IH, the dogs showed significantly (comparison-wise error rate <0.05) lower postures than during GH. IH induced enduring increments in frequencies of autogrooming, paw lifting, and vocalizing, and was associated with incidents of coprophagy and repetitive behavior. So far, we interpret the behavioral changes as signs of chronic stress. Relatively low levels of walking, digging, intentions to change from one state of locomotion to another, and increments in circling are conceived as obvious adaptations to the specific features of the IH system. By challenging the dogs outside their home kennel we tested whether the dogs’ coping abilities were affected by IH. Dogs that were challenged were introduced into a novel environment, given the opportunity to escape from their home kennel, restrained, walked down an unfamiliar corridor, presented a novel object, exposed to loud noise, given food, or confronted with a conspecific. During IH, challenged dogs exhibited higher postures, showed more tail wagging, nosing, circling, urinating, and defecating, and changed more often from one state of locomotion (or posture) to another than during GH. These behavioral changes were observed across the different types of challenges, with the exception of the noise administration test. In the presence of conspecifics, the socially and spatially restricted male dogs behaved more dominantly and aggressive than during the time that they were kept in groups. Such behavior manifested as increased performances of raised hairs, growling, paw laying, and standing over. Both sexes showed increases in paw lifting, body shaking, ambivalent postures, intentions to change from one state of locomotion to another, and trembling in any of the challenges, excluding the walking down the corridor test. In short, during a variety of challenges, socially and spatially restricted dogs exhibited a heightened state of aggression, excitement, and uncertainty. Behavioral differences between dogs that had experienced pleasant and bad weather conditions during GH, suggested that “pleasant-weather individuals” had experienced early stress during the control period, and, as a result, responded to the subsequent period of IH differently. Regardless of the housing conditions, challenged bitches showed stronger indications of acute stress than male dogs. Gender did not affect the chronic stress responses to social and spatial restriction. A low posture and increased autogrooming, paw lifting, vocalizing, repetitive behavior, and coprophagy may indicate chronic stress in dogs, and as such, can help to identify poor welfare. When challenged, chronically stressed dogs may show increased excitement, aggression, and uncertainty, but the nonspecificity of such emotional behavior will complicate its practical use with regard to the assessment of stress.
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Four groups of dogs, which had been subjected to housing conditions of varying quality for years, were assumed to experience different levels of stress. The groups were compared for behavioural and hormonal parameters in order to identify measures that indicate chronic stress in the dog and which may help to identify poor welfare in this species. As a standard for comparison, one of the four groups was composed of privately owned dogs; we assumed that chronic stress levels were relatively low in this group (GI). The three remaining groups of dogs (GII, GIII and GIV) were kept under conditions of low to relatively high austerity, and had basal urinary ratios of cortisol to creatinine, adrenaline to creatinine and, to a lesser extent, noradrenaline to creatinine, that varied from low to high, respectively. Significant differences (P < 0.05) were found in cortisol to creatinine ratios when comparing GI to GII, GIII and GIV and when GII was compared to GIV. Statistical analyses indicated that the mean adrenaline to creatinine ratio in GI differed from that in the remaining groups and that the ratio in GII differed from that in GIII. Noradrenaline to creatinine ratios differed significantly only between GI and GIII. Dopamine to creatinine ratios and noradrenaline to adrenaline ratios did not differ significantly between groups. When dogs were not disturbed, those that were kept under the most austere conditions typically had high levels of locomotor activity, nosing, urinating and paw lifting. After mild disturbance by a slamming door or in the presence of a researcher these animals reacted actively, with increased locomotor activity, circling and nosing, and they showed high levels of behaviours that have previously been associated with acute stress: body shaking, yawning, ambivalent postures and displacement behaviours. Chronic stress in dogs may be identified by increased paw lifting when animals are not disturbed and by ample behavioural expressions of arousal when they are mildly stimulated. Since some behaviours may occur in contexts not related to stress, behavioural data are easily misinterpreted with regard to chronic stress. Interpretation will only be meaningful when physiological measures such as urinary adrenaline to creatinine ratios and, especially, urinary cortisol to creatinine ratios are also determined.
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Plasmacortisol levels were examined to assess the stress of dogs in a county animal shelter. Groups of dogs confined in the shelter for their 1st, 2nd, or 3rd day had higher cortisol levels than did a group maintained in the shelter for more than 9 days. Dogs in the shelter for an intermediate period (Day 4-9) had intermediate levels of cortisol. The cortisol concentrations of dogs during their first day in the shelter were greater than either those of the same dogs on Day 4/5 in the shelter or those of a group of pet dogs sampled in their own homes. There was no overall effect of 20 min of social interaction with a human (e.g., petting) on the plasma cortisol levels of dogs in the shelter on Day 1-3. However, the gender of the petter did affect cortisol levels. Those dogs interacting with a female had lower cortisol concentrations at the end of the session than did dogs interacting with a male. The results suggest that confinement in a public animal shelter produces a prolonged activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Further, it appears that some subtle aspect of interaction with a human may be capable of moderating this response. Possible implications for the welfare of confined dogs, and for the development of behavior problems in dogs obtained from shelters, are discussed.
Article
The effect of canine and/or human gender on the response of the domestic dog towards humans has been little studied. This study investigated the reactions of male and female dogs housed in an animal rescue shelter towards the presence of men and women to determine how a dog's response towards a person was influenced by canine and human gender. The response of 30 dogs housed in the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (USPCA) to each of six people (three men and three women), who stood individually for a period of 2 min at the front of the dog's cage, was observed. The amount of time that the dog spent at the front of the cage, barking, looking towards the human, wagging its tail, and engaged in activities of sitting, standing, moving, resting, was recorded. Canine gender exerted an influence on the amount of time that dogs spent looking towards the humans. Female dogs showed a greater decrease in the amount of time they spent looking towards the humans over the course of the testing than male dogs. Human gender had an effect on both dog barking, and eye orientation. Dogs showed a stronger decrease in their barking and their tendency to look towards the human whenever the subject was a woman than a man, suggesting that dogs may be more defensively-aggressive towards men than women. There was no interaction between canine and human gender on the dog's response towards the persons. This study indicated that both canine and human gender influence certain elements of a dog's response towards the presence of a human. The findings may have practical implications for the re-housing of dogs from rescue shelters.
Article
The objective of this investigation was to evaluate the behavioral responses of dogs to routine handling during the preoperative period after being given a placebo or a commonly used anesthetic premedicant.Junior veterinary surgery students working in teams of three were provided with written descriptions of 13 dog behaviors (struggling, rigid, shivering, wide-eyed facial expression, vocalization, biting, limb withdrawal, orienting, breath holding, panting, hiding, salivating and activity requiring muzzling) and asked to scale the behaviors from 0 (absent) to 4 (present to a great extent) during the preoperative period. The students were asked to record behaviors at three different times: placing the dog on the table (Period 1); clipping and surgical preparation (clipping/prepping) of a cephalic limb (Period 2); intravenous (iv) catheterization (Period 3). Each team had three or four experiences. Each dog was given a saline placebo (P dogs) (0.05 ml kg−1 intramuscular (IM)), acepromazine (A dogs) (0.05 mg kg−1 IM), or oxymorphone (X dogs) (0.05 mg kg−1 IM) as an anesthetic premedicant. The premedicants were made isovolumetric and similarly tinted in color.Scaled behaviours occurring more than 10% of the time and demonstrating significant differences (P<0.05) among treatments were as follows: (1) rigidity, wide-eyed facial expression and panting for Period 1; (2) rigidity, hiding, salivating and panting during Period 2; (3) wide-eyed facial expression, panting and salivating during Period 3. A dogs were less rigid than P dogs and less wide-eyed than X dogs during Period 1, less rigid and engaged in less hiding behavior than P dogs during Period 2, and were less wide-eyed than P dogs during Period 3. X dogs panted and salivated more than A or P dogs during all three periods, and engaged in less hiding behavior than P dogs during Period 2. Acepromazine appears to be more effective than oxymorphone or placebo in decreasing anxiety behaviors in dogs.Non-parametric analysis of presence/absence data of behaviors occurring more than 10% of the time, demonstrated the same significant differences (P<0.05) among treatments as the analysis of scaled behaviors. Additionally, wide-eyed facial expression and vocalization were found to be significant (P<0.05) during Period 2, and rigidity and vocalization were found to be significant (P<0.05) during Period 3.If 100% agreement among observers was required for inclusion in the non-parametric analysis, the behaviors found to be significant (P<0.05) were as follows: (1) orienting, panting and salivating during Period 2; (2) panting and salivating during Period 3.Qualitative and quantitative measures of catheter placement ease were not affected by the drug.
Article
The behaviour of 50 puppies of traditionally docked breeds was recorded during and after the procedure of tail docking at the University of Queensland Companion Animal Veterinary Hospital. The behaviours were recorded at the time of the procedure and then in 5 second intervals for the first minute followed by 10 second intervals until the pup settled to sleep. All puppies vocalised intensely (“shrieking”) at the time of amputation of the tail, averaging 24 shrieks (range of 5 to 33). The average number of minor vocalisations (“whimpers”) made during docking was 18 (range of 2 to 46). There were no shrieks recorded during the recovery period. The average number of whimpers made during the first 30 s after completion of the amputation was 3 (range of 0 to 18). There was a significant (p ≤ 0.001) reduction in the number of shrieks and whimpers emitted by pups in the 30 second period following docking. On average, the pups ceased vocalising 138 s after docking (range of 5 to 840 s). Significant correlation coefficients were found between the time taken to stop vocalising and the number of whimpers during docking (r = 0.409) and total vocalisations during docking (r = 0.393). That is, the more vocalisations made during docking, the longer the pup took to settle in the recovery period. The pups varied in the time taken to settle to sleep with a mean settling time of 3 min (range of 35 s to 14 min). Although it is difficult to objectively quantify the stress experienced by puppies undergoing tail docking, observations recorded during this study suggest that the animals do experience pain. The pain appears to be short-lived (with all puppies quiescent by a maximum of 15 min). Further research into the issue of pain in pups undergoing tail docking is recommended to determine whether the procedure should continue.
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multifactorial aspect of the distribution of behavior / aspects of social differentiation / dominance was regarded as the basic principle of social organization / concept has come to be questioned / doubts also arose concerning the explanatory value of the concept / dominance as an explanatory principle / intervening variable (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This paper discusses the characteristics of the acquisition of traumatic avoidance learning in dogs. The subjects used in this study were 30 mongrel dogs of medium size. Their range in weight was approximately from 9 to 13 kg. The data in this study were obtained while the dogs were apparently healthy. Each dog was pretested in order to reveal the presence of a previously acquired tendency to jump the barrier. The commutator motor was running, providing a low background noise. The dog was observed during a 10-min. pretrial "acclimation period." Then, at the end of this period, the first pretest trial was conducted. In avoidance learning it is very difficult to point out logically where the acquisition phase ends and extinction begins. This is so because the delivery of the unconditioned stimulus (shock) to the subject is contingent upon the subject's aversive movements. An experiment in traumatic avoidance learning is reported in which dogs were trained to avoid a just-subtetanizing shock by responding to a signal which preceded the shock by a period of 10 seconds. A shuttle-box jumping response was reinforced as the instrumental avoidance reaction. The results were discussed within the framework of a two-process theory of learning. Several inadequacies in current learning theories were revealed in trying 10 explain our findings. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
A simple procedure for multiple tests of significance based on individual p-values is derived. This simple procedure is sharper than Holm's (1979) sequentially rejective procedure. Both procedures contrast the ordered p- values with the same set of critical values. Holm's procedure rejects an hypothesis only if its p-value and each of the smaller p-values are less than their corresponding critical-values. The new procedure rejects all hypotheses with smaller or equal p-values to that of any one found less than its critical value.
Article
Stress parameters that can be measured noninvasively may help to identify poor welfare in dogs that live in private homes and institutions. Behavioural parameters are potentially useful to identify stress, but require further investigation to establish which behaviours are appropriate. In the present study, behaviours were recorded and analysed for signs of acute stress in dogs. Simultaneously, saliva cortisol and heart rate were measured to support the interpretation of the behavioural data with regard to stress. Ten dogs of either sex, different ages and various breeds were each subjected to six different stimuli: sound blasts, short electric shocks, a falling bag, an opening umbrella and two forms of restraint. Each type of stimulus had been selected for its assumed aversive properties and was administered intermittently for 1 min. The stimuli that could not be anticipated by the dogs, sound blasts, shocks and a falling bag, tended to induce saliva cortisol responses and a very low posture. The remainder of the stimuli, which were administered by the experimenter visibly to the dog, did not change the cortisol levels but did induce restlessness, a moderate lowering of the posture, body shaking, oral behaviours, and to a lesser extent, yawning and open mouth. Pronounced increases in the heart rate were nonspecifically induced by each type of stimulus. Heart rate levels normalized within 8 min after stressor administration had stopped. Saliva cortisol levels decreased to normal within the hour. Correlations between behavioural and physiological stress parameters were not significant. From the present results, we conclude that in dogs a very low posture may indicate intense acute stress since dogs show a very low posture concomitant with saliva cortisol responses. Dogs may typically show increased restlessness, oral behaviours, yawning, open mouth and a moderate lowering of the posture when they experienced moderate stress in a social setting. The nonspecific character of canine heart rate responses complicates its interpretation with regard to acute stress.
Article
In 6 curarized dogs, the magnitudes of both the cardiac acceleration during shock stimulation and deceleration after stimulation were found to be monotonic increasing functions of intensity (2, 4, 6, and 8 ma.), and inverted U shaped functions of duration (.1, .5, 2.5, 5, and 10 sec.) of electric shock. Utilizing 32 curarized dogs with a discriminative classical conditioning procedure, it was found that: (1) the presence of a warning signal did not affect the magnitude of the unconditioned cardiac response, and (2) previous experience with shocks of lower intensity did reduce the magnitude of the unconditioned cardiac response to subsequent high-intensity shock.
Article
Aggressive behavior can be elicited by aversive stimuli as an unconditioned reflex. Electric shock, heat, physical blows, and intra-cranial stimulation are among the stimuli which will elicit fighting. Various characteristics of the stimulus—such as frequency of presentation, intensity, and duration, in the case of shock—and of the environment in general, influence the rate at which pain-elicited fighting occurs. Characteristics of the animals—such as sex, age, sensory impairment, species, and social experience— also influence the occurrence of respondent aggression. Aggression can be conditioned according to both the operant and the respondent paradigms. Since both operant and respondent aggression can occur concurrently, interesting interactions result. Depending upon a number of variables, respondent aggression exerts a disruptive influence on social behavior controlled by aversive stimuli. The interference of aggression with behavior maintained by aversive stimuli may cause us to revise our opinion of the efficiency of aversive stimuli in social situations. Although pain is probably a source of human aggression, further research with infra-human animals, as well as actual research with humans, should elucidate the relationship between aversive stimuli and aggression in man.
Article
In Exp I, retrospective data of 92 cases on dangerously aggressive companion dogs demonstrated the avoidance nature of the aggressive response and its intractability to established counterconditioning treatments. In Exp II, safety training, a modified avoidance-learning procedure, resulted in complete and permanent elimination of aggression in all 36 dogs tested. In addition, it produced extinction-resistant prosocial avoidance responses, significant increases in the dogs' emotional stability, an avoidance-learning and safety acquisition response set, and improvements in measures of the dog's "carriage." Exp III (18 Ss) showed how effective safety training is when compared with other behavior modification techniques that, in theory, should have an impact on avoidance-motivated aggression. Exp IV (16 Ss) demonstrated the importance of using the conditioned safety cue as a positive reinforcement. The relationship of avoidance-motivated aggression to other forms of aggression is discussed, the theoretical concepts of behavioral balance and an avoidance-learning set are presented, and suggestions to improve the effectiveness of counterconditioning for human avoidance-motivated pathologies are offered. (90 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
Article
To determine the association between subjective and objective variables commonly used to evaluate severity of postoperative pain in dogs. Prospective double-blind study. 36 dogs with unilateral rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament that underwent surgery to stabilize the stifle. Each dog was assessed to determine severity of pain before and after surgery, using various subjective and objective criteria. Subjective measures of pain (scores for visual analogue and numerical rating scales) correlated poorly or were not correlated with heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and results of a pain threshold test. Scores for visual analogue and numerical rating scales correlated with each other and with the amount of vocalization at most time periods. We detected a weak association between commonly employed subjective and objective measures of pain. This indicated that some of these measurement techniques do not predictably reflect severity of postoperative pain in dogs. Therefore, clinicians should not rely too heavily on these variables when assessing severity of postoperative pain in dogs.
Shock collars and aggression in dogs
  • R H Polski
Polski, R.H., 1998. Shock collars and aggression in dogs. Anim. Behav. Consultant Newslett, April 1998.
Elektrogeräte: Grundlagen, Wirkungen und mögliche Gefahren im Hinblick auf die Anwendung in der Hundeausbildung
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Understanding electronic dog training, Part I
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Electronic shock collars: are they worth the risks?
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