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 …

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. …

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 …

Predictive models of assistance dog training outcomes using the Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire and a standardized temperament evaluation

Short Synopsis: Researchers compared C-BARQ, IFT, and combination scores from the two tests to see which test helped predict which dogs would succeed at assistance dog training. All versions of testing identified a dog’s likelihood of success better than chance. All 3 versions of testing were most accurate for flagging the dogs that were most likely to fail (85%-92% accurate for …

Military Veterans and their PTSD Service Dogs: Associations between Training Methods, PTSD Severity, Dog Behavior, and the Human-Animal Bond

Short Synopsis: 111 veterans with PTSD service dogs were asked about how they trained and interacted with their service dogs. The training was divided into five categories: “positive reinforcement (e.g. physical praise), negative punishment (e.g. ignoring the dog), positive punishment (e.g. verbal correction), dominance (e.g. alpha roll), and bond-based (e.g. co-sleeping).” More positive punishment correlated with less closeness, more fear, less …

Comparison of learning effects and stress between 3 different training methods (electronic training collar, pinch collar and quitting signal) in Belgian Malinois Police Dogs

Short Synopsis: “The electronic training collar induced less stress and had stronger learning effect in comparison pinch collars or quitting signals. It was also noted that quitting signal was markedly stressful in dogs. In the present study, however, theoretical and practical knowledge of each dog trainer could not be achieved during the assessment of pinch collar as well as quitting signal. Therefore, …

Obedience training effects on search dog performance

Short Synopsis: “While positive training methods were preferred and were associated with performance success, there was a significant association between the maturation of the dog and the increased use of compulsive methods.” The more time a team trained, the more likely they were to succeed at certification. Authors: Michael Ben Alexandera, Ted Frienda, Lore Haug Publication: Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Volume …