Behavioural and glucocorticoid responses of dogs (Canis familiaris) to kennelling: Investigating mitigation of stress by prior habituation

Short Synopsis: Creatine/cortisol ratios are useful for measuring acute stress in dogs. Researchers wanted to see how habituation to an environment could reduce acute stress for dogs in a kennel environment. They took 31 1-year-old male Labrador Retrievers and habituated half of them to a kennel environment. This was a long, careful process of introducing young puppies to crates and eventually …

Classification of behavior problems in dogs: Distributions of age, breed, sex and reproductive status

Short Synopsis: In dogs referred for behavior management, the most common behavior problems were aggression and stimulus activity. Many additional factors were considered including breed, sex, and neutered/spayed vs. intact. (Mixed breeds were the most common of the sample size, with sporting and mixed breeds presenting most frequently for behavior problems. Intact males were the most common to present with …

Aggressive behavior in adopted dogs that passed a temperament test

Title: Aggressive behavior in adopted dogs that passed a temperament test Short Synopsis: Temperament testing done by shelters cannot reliably illustrate aggressive tendencies that dogs exhibit in the home. This is likely due to situations that are not mimicked on temperament testing that occurs in the home motivating territorial and predatory aggression. Authors: E Christensen, J Scarlett, M Campagna, K …

Effects of maternal investment, temperament, and cognition on guide dog success

Short Synopsis: This study followed 98 puppies from birth through adulthood. The researchers found that mother dogs who spent more time caring for the puppies raised puppies that were more likely to flunk out of the program. Mothers whose nursing style required more work from the puppies (vertical or standing nursing) raised puppies that were more likely to succeed. Young adult …

The influence of maternal care on stress-related behaviors in domestic dogs: What can we learn from the rodent literature?

Short Synopsis: This paper looks at existing literature about puppy raising and also supplemental literature about how rodents raise their pups to extrapolate to dogs. Rodent mothers that show less licking, grooming, and arch-backed nursing have pups with an increased stress response thanks to a change in their HPA axis. Arch-Backed nursing is considered ideal. Licking and grooming in rodents also …

Levels of maternal care in dogs affect adult offspring temperament

Short Synopsis: Researchers observed how mother dogs interacted with their puppies for 3 weeks after the puppies were born. The researchers categorized the interactions based on how much time the mother dogs attended to their puppies and spent close to them. Mother dogs were consistent with how they interacted with the litters. Each mother dog was also different from the others. …

Clicker training increases exploratory behaviour and time spent at the front of the enclosure in shelter cats; Implications for welfare and adoption rates

Short Synopsis: Quote from the abstract: “Twelve cats were clicker trained over two weeks their behaviour and response to humans was recorded before and after the training schedule. Cats showed significantly more exploratory behaviour, a decrease in inactivity and spent more time at the front of their enclosures after training. Four of the cats which failed the human approach test initially, …

Training dogs to detect invasive alien species in Japan: Discrimination of reptile odor

Short Synopsis: A single dog was trained to detect the presence of the urine of an invasive lizard. The researchers then demonstrated that she could tell the difference between that invasive lizard and native lizards by scent alone in 2 weeks for both body odor and urine odor. The dog reached 100% accuracy. Authors: Megumi Fukuzawa, Marina Sasahara Publication: Journal of …

“Reactivity to Stimuli” Is a Temperamental Factor Contributing to Canine Aggression

Short Synopsis: This study is a follow-up to another project that found that Shiba Inus who are “reactive to stimuli” are also more likely to be aggressive. The goal was to see if that trend continued across other breeds. They used the C-BARQ to determine how much the dogs reacted to various stimuli, like being approached by a stranger. The authors …