Topical Collection "Health, Behaviour and Performance in Working Dog Teams"

A topical collection in Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This collection belongs to the section "Companion Animals".

Editors

Dr. Kate Hill
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Working Dog Centre, School of Veterinary Science, Massey University, Private Bag 11 222, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand
Interests: working dogs; bacterial resistance; transdermal medications; hyperthyroidism
Dr. Naomi Cogger
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Veterinary Science, Massey University, Palmerston North 4410, New Zealand
Interests: health; performance; epidemiology; observational research; performance; working dogs; farm dogs
Dr. Mia Cobb
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Animal Welfare Science Centre, Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
Interests: animal welfare; attitudes; behaviour; dogs; physiology; social license; stress; sustainability; working dogs

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Working dogs operate in many valuable roles with humans from military service and law enforcement to assisting people with their daily life and working with farmers to herd and protect livestock. The work these dogs perform requires both physical and behavioural agility and resilience. To ensure that dogs can fulfill these jobs optimally and enjoy a long and healthy working life, we require novel research focused on working dogs rather than trying to extrapolate findings from pet dogs. Further, we need to better understand the role that humans play in the success of working dog teams. In this collection, we welcome all contributions - research, reviews, and commentary - that advance and expand the field of working dog team health, behaviour and performance.

Assoc. Prof. Kate Hill
Assoc. Prof. Naomi Cogger
Dr. Mia Cobb
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • working dogs
  • farm dogs
  • performance
  • health
  • behaviour
  • welfare
  • one welfare
  • assistance dogs
  • guide dogs
  • service dogs
  • police dogs
  • scent
  • detection

Published Papers (18 papers)

2021

Jump to: 2020

Article
Give Them a Toy or Increase Time out of Kennel at Lawn Areas: What Is the Influence of These Interventions on Police Dogs’ Welfare?
Animals 2021, 11(8), 2264; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11082264 - 30 Jul 2021
Viewed by 991
Abstract
This work was aimed at identifying the effectiveness of two interventions applied to a group of eight kennelled police dogs. Interventions consisted of access to a lawn area (350 m2) and “toy” (a 30 cm jute rag roll, hanging from the [...] Read more.
This work was aimed at identifying the effectiveness of two interventions applied to a group of eight kennelled police dogs. Interventions consisted of access to a lawn area (350 m2) and “toy” (a 30 cm jute rag roll, hanging from the kennel ceiling), both available for 15 min a day, for four days in a row. We collected behavioural data and faecal samples for cortisol metabolites evaluation before, during and after interventions. Faecal cortisol metabolites levels were significantly reduced (Friedman, X2(3) = 12.450; p = 0.006) during the second round of intervention, regardless of the type of intervention, indicating that the interventions can have a beneficial cumulative effect. Regarding the frequency of stereotyped behaviour, cluster analysis identified two groups of individuals: (1) high-stereotyping individuals (n = 3) that had a tendency to reduce stereotyping behaviours in the lawn intervention when compared to toy intervention (Friedman, X2(3) = 2.530; p = 0.068), and (2) low-stereotyping animals (n = 5) that did not present significant behavioural changes during the experiment. The variety of behavioural and endocrine parameters evaluated highlights the need to account for the individual in behaviour and welfare research. Overall, our results suggest that even simple environmental enrichment can be an effective method to mitigate behaviour and physiological signs of stress. Full article
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Article
Evidence for the Continued Occurrence of Chorioretinopathy in Working Sheep Dogs in New Zealand in 2010
Animals 2021, 11(8), 2229; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11082229 - 29 Jul 2021
Viewed by 938
Abstract
A study in conducted 1987 by Hughes et al., found that 39% of working sheep dogs had multifocal retinitis. One of the identified causes was ocular larval migrans, which were a result of migrating ascarid larvae. Since that paper was published, anthelmintic use [...] Read more.
A study in conducted 1987 by Hughes et al., found that 39% of working sheep dogs had multifocal retinitis. One of the identified causes was ocular larval migrans, which were a result of migrating ascarid larvae. Since that paper was published, anthelmintic use in farm dogs has been highly recommended. There has been no follow-up study to determine if fundic lesions are still present. The current study aimed to investigate the prevalence of chorioretinopathy in working sheep dogs in the South-West, Waikato, New Zealand. This was a cross-sectional study of 184 working sheep dogs and 51 owners, undertaken in 2010 with owners sampled from New Zealand’s South-West Waikato and Tux North Island Dog Trial Championship. Two-way tables were used to explore the relationship between variables. Significance of association was assessed using a Chi-squared or Fisher exact test as appropriate, with a p-value of <0.05 considered significant. Overall prevalence of chorioretinopathy in the working sheep dogs was 44/184 (24%). A significantly higher prevalence of chorioretinopathy was shown in dogs with increasing age, from 2 years to >8 years (p = 0.0007) and in males (p < 0.0001). This study concluded that lesions of chorioretinopathy are still present in working sheep dogs in New Zealand. Full article
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Article
Expert Perspectives on the Performance of Explosive Detection Canines: Performance Degrading Factors
Animals 2021, 11(7), 1978; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11071978 - 01 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1383
Abstract
The explosive detection canine (EDC) team is currently the best available mobile sensor capability in the fight against explosive threats. While the EDC can perform at a high level, the EDC team faces numerous factors during the search process that may degrade performance. [...] Read more.
The explosive detection canine (EDC) team is currently the best available mobile sensor capability in the fight against explosive threats. While the EDC can perform at a high level, the EDC team faces numerous factors during the search process that may degrade performance. Understanding these factors is key to effective selection, training, assessment, deployment, and operationalizable research. A systematic description of these factors is absent from the literature. This qualitative study leveraged the perspectives of expert EDC handlers, trainers, and leaders (n = 17) to determine the factors that degrade EDC performance. The participants revealed factors specific to utilization, the EDC team, and the physical, climate, operational, and explosive odor environments. Key results were the reality of performance degradation, the impact of the handler, and the importance of preparation. This study’s results can help improve EDC selection, training, assessment, and deployment and further research into sustaining EDC performance. Full article
Article
Expert Perspectives on the Performance of Explosive Detection Canines: Operational Requirements
Animals 2021, 11(7), 1976; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11071976 - 01 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1290
Abstract
Explosive detection canines (EDC) play an important role in protecting people and property. The utilization of and research on EDCs is often based on personal experience or incomplete knowledge. EDC practitioners (handlers, trainers, and leaders) possess the institutional knowledge necessary to understand EDC [...] Read more.
Explosive detection canines (EDC) play an important role in protecting people and property. The utilization of and research on EDCs is often based on personal experience or incomplete knowledge. EDC practitioners (handlers, trainers, and leaders) possess the institutional knowledge necessary to understand EDC operational requirements. This study utilized a qualitative approach with semi-structured interviews of EDC experts (n = 17) from across the employment spectrum. The interviews elicited EDC expert perceptions of the performance of the EDC team and the operational requirements in the physical, climate, operational, and explosive odor environments. Analysis of the data revealed commonalities across all EDCs and utilization-specific differences. To be effective, the EDC team must function well on both ends of the leash, and the handler likely has the greatest impact on the EDC’s performance. Common requirements include expectations to perform at a high level in a variety of manmade and natural physical environments and under a range of climate conditions. EDCs must work through the visual, olfactory, and auditory challenges of the operational environment and the countermeasure efforts of those utilizing explosive devices. Utilization-specific differences like patrol or assault training and utilization add additional requirements for some EDCs. The results of this study can be used to inform EDC selection, training, assessment, and deployment, and further research into EDC performance. Full article
Article
Weekly and Daily Tooth Brushing by Care Staff Reduces Gingivitis and Calculus in Racing Greyhounds
Animals 2021, 11(7), 1869; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11071869 - 23 Jun 2021
Viewed by 619
Abstract
Periodontal disease is one of the most common conditions affecting dogs worldwide and is reported to be particularly prevalent in racing greyhounds. A range of potential risk factors have been hypothesised. Previous research has suggested that regular tooth brushing can reduce both calculus [...] Read more.
Periodontal disease is one of the most common conditions affecting dogs worldwide and is reported to be particularly prevalent in racing greyhounds. A range of potential risk factors have been hypothesised. Previous research has suggested that regular tooth brushing can reduce both calculus and gingivitis, but the frequency required is unclear. Here, we report a controlled blinded in situ trial, in which kennel staff brushed 160 racing greyhounds’ teeth (living at six kennel establishments), either weekly, daily or never over a two-month period. All of the visible teeth were scored for calculus and gingivitis, using previously validated scales. We calculated average scores for each of the three teeth groups and overall whole mouth scores, averaging the teeth groups. Changes were compared to the baseline. After two months, the total calculus scores (controlling for baseline) were significantly different in the three treatment groups, (F(2,129) = 10.76, p < 0.001) with both weekly and daily brushing resulting in significant reductions. Gingivitis was also significantly different between groups (F(2,128) = 4.57, p = 0.012), but in this case, only daily brushing resulted in a significant reduction. Although the dogs in different kennels varied significantly in their levels of both calculus (F(5,129) = 8.64, p < 0.001) and gingivitis (F(5,128) = 3.51 p = 0.005), the intervention was similarly effective in all of the establishments. The teeth groups varied, and the incisors were not significantly affected by the treatment. Since the trainers implementing the routine, reported a minimal time commitment and positive experiences, we suggest that daily brushing is recommended for racing greyhounds, and that any instructions or demonstrations should include attention to all teeth groups including the incisors. Similar trials need to be conducted with retired greyhounds since these have been shown to present particularly high levels of periodontal disease. Full article
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Article
TeamMate: A Longitudinal Study of New Zealand Working Farm Dogs. III. Factors Affecting the Risk of Dogs Being Lost from the Workforce
Animals 2021, 11(6), 1602; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11061602 - 29 May 2021
Viewed by 1581
Abstract
Working farm dogs are essential to many livestock farmers. Little is known about factors that influence dogs’ risk of being lost from work. This paper explores risk factors for farm dogs being lost through death, euthanasia and retirement. All enrolled dogs were working [...] Read more.
Working farm dogs are essential to many livestock farmers. Little is known about factors that influence dogs’ risk of being lost from work. This paper explores risk factors for farm dogs being lost through death, euthanasia and retirement. All enrolled dogs were working and a minimum of 18 months old. Five data collection rounds were performed over four years. Data about dogs were collected from owners and dogs were given physical examinations by veterinarians. Dogs that were lost from work were counted and owner-reported reasons for loss were recorded. Multivariable logistic regression modelling was used to investigate risk factors for loss. Of 589 dogs, 81 were lost from work. Of these, 59 dogs died or were euthanized and 22 were retired. Farm dogs tended to reach advanced ages, with 38% being 10 years or older when last examined. Acute injury or illness was the most commonly owner-reported reason for loss. Age group (p < 0.0001) and lameness (p = 0.04, OR = 1.8) significantly affected dogs’ risk of being lost. These results expand our knowledge about factors that affect health, welfare and work in farm dogs. Further investigation into reasons for lameness may help improve health and welfare in working farm dogs. Full article
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Article
Case Study: An Evaluation of Detection Dog Generalization to a Large Quantity of an Unknown Explosive in the Field
Animals 2021, 11(5), 1341; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11051341 - 08 May 2021
Viewed by 1804
Abstract
Two explosive detection dogs were deployed to search a suspicious bag, and failed to detect 13 kg of explosive within. The aim of this research was to further evaluate this incident. First, dog teams (N = 7) searched four bags in a [...] Read more.
Two explosive detection dogs were deployed to search a suspicious bag, and failed to detect 13 kg of explosive within. The aim of this research was to further evaluate this incident. First, dog teams (N = 7) searched four bags in a similar scenario. One bag contained the same 13 kg of explosive, two bags were blanks, and the other contained the training sample that the agency routinely used for training. All dogs detected the training sample, but most (5/7) did not alert to the 13 kg sample. Subsequently, dogs received two trials in a line up with a 30 g subsample of the explosive to evaluate whether they could generalize to a smaller quantity. Most dogs (6/7) alerted to the subsample at least once. Finally, dogs were trained with the 30 g subsample and later tested with the 13 kg sample. Only three dogs spontaneously generalized to the large sample after training with the small subsample. Dogs’ alert rate to the 13 kg sample was improved with training in subsequent trials with the 13 kg sample. This result indicates that explosive detection dogs may not generalize to a target odor at a significantly higher quantity relative to the one used in training, highlighting the importance of conducting such training. Full article
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Article
Use of a Collar-Mounted Triaxial Accelerometer to Predict Speed and Gait in Dogs
Animals 2021, 11(5), 1262; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11051262 - 27 Apr 2021
Viewed by 490
Abstract
Accelerometry has been used to measure treatment efficacy in dogs with osteoarthritis, although interpretation is difficult. Simplification of the output into speed or gait categories could simplify interpretation. We aimed to determine whether collar-mounted accelerometry could estimate the speed and categorise dogs’ gait [...] Read more.
Accelerometry has been used to measure treatment efficacy in dogs with osteoarthritis, although interpretation is difficult. Simplification of the output into speed or gait categories could simplify interpretation. We aimed to determine whether collar-mounted accelerometry could estimate the speed and categorise dogs’ gait on a treadmill. Eight Huntaway dogs were fitted with a triaxial accelerometer and then recorded using high-speed video on a treadmill at a slow and fast walk, trot, and canter. The accelerometer data (delta-G) was aligned with the video data and records of the treadmill speed and gait. Mixed linear and logistic regression models that included delta-G and a term accounting for the dogs’ skeletal sizes were used to predict speed and gait, respectively, from the accelerometer signal. Gait could be categorised (pseudo-R2 = 0.87) into binary categories of walking and faster (trot or canter), but not into the separate faster gaits. The estimation of speed above 3 m/s was inaccurate, though it is not clear whether that inaccuracy was due to the sampling frequency of the particular device, or whether that is an inherent limitation of collar-mounted accelerometers in dogs. Thus, collar-mounted accelerometry can reliably categorise dogs’ gaits into two categories, but finer gait descriptions or speed estimates require individual dog modelling and validation. Nonetheless, this accelerometry method could improve the use of accelerometry to detect treatment effects in osteoarthritis by allowing the selection of periods of activity that are most affected by treatment. Full article
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Article
Facilitators and Barriers to Assistance Dog Puppy Raisers’ Engagement in Recommended Raising Practices
Animals 2021, 11(5), 1195; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11051195 - 21 Apr 2021
Viewed by 675
Abstract
Many assistance dog providers use volunteer raisers to manage each puppy’s learning and daily experiences, which partly determines the puppy’s behavioural development. Therefore, it is important that raisers engage in recommended practices. Three common recommendations from the literature include frequent socialisation and consistent [...] Read more.
Many assistance dog providers use volunteer raisers to manage each puppy’s learning and daily experiences, which partly determines the puppy’s behavioural development. Therefore, it is important that raisers engage in recommended practices. Three common recommendations from the literature include frequent socialisation and consistent training for the puppies, and effective training for the raisers. However, what facilitates or hinders raisers’ engagement in these practices remains unclear. To understand this, we interviewed eight raisers (three men and five women) every month during their year-long puppy raising program, and pseudo-randomly selected 16 from 48 interviews for data analysis. Thematic analyses revealed several facilitating and/or hindering factors corresponding to each of the three recommended practices. Frequent socialisation was influenced by the raisers’ availability, sharing of puppy raising responsibility with others, support from their workplace, and the puppy’s behaviours (e.g., soiling indoors, jumping). Consistent training was challenged by the presence of everyday distractors, accessibility to timely advice, perceived judgement from others, and the puppy’s undesirable behaviours. Effective learning was facilitated by having information available in raisers’ preferred learning modality, opportunities for peer-learning, and willingness to seek help. Future research should examine these factors quantitatively, which will enable more robust evaluation of programs aimed at supporting puppy raisers. Full article
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Article
Diving in Nose First: The Influence of Unfamiliar Search Scale and Environmental Context on the Search Performance of Volunteer Conservation Detection Dog–Handler Teams
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1177; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041177 - 20 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 859
Abstract
Conservation detection dogs (CDDs) are trained to locate biological material from plants and animals of interest to conservation efforts and are often more effective and economical than other detection methods. However, the financial costs of developing and appropriately caring for CDDs can nonetheless [...] Read more.
Conservation detection dogs (CDDs) are trained to locate biological material from plants and animals of interest to conservation efforts and are often more effective and economical than other detection methods. However, the financial costs of developing and appropriately caring for CDDs can nonetheless prohibit their use, particularly by smaller conservation organizations. Training skilled volunteers to work with suitable pet dogs may help address this constraint. We sought to further develop the skills of 13 volunteer dog–handler teams that were trained in a previous study to detect myrrh essential oil in controlled laboratory conditions. We assessed search sensitivity, search effort, search precision and false-alert instances through progressive training stages increasing in size and environmental complexity. First, teams searched various-sized areas before and after 12 weeks of search training on a sports-field. Next, teams searched various-sized areas before and after seven weeks of training in bushland. Overall, search sensitivity decreased by approximately 20% in each unfamiliar context, compared to performance in familiar contexts. However, sensitivity typically improved from baseline performance by 10–20% after a period of training. Six teams found at least 78% of targets after training in bushland, yet sensitivity ranged from 29% to 86% between teams. We maintain that the foundational skills developed previously were necessary to prepare volunteer teams for field surveys involving conservation related targets. However, our results highlight the need to also train volunteer CDD teams in search scale and environmental contexts similar to their intended working conditions. Full article
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Article
Validation of a Behavior Test for Predicting Puppies’ Suitability as Detection Dogs
Animals 2021, 11(4), 993; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11040993 - 01 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1372
Abstract
Behavioral characteristics are the most influential factor in the success of a working dog. The need for highly capable detection dogs continues to rise; but reliable methods for early selection are lacking. The current study aimed to assess the reliability and validity of [...] Read more.
Behavioral characteristics are the most influential factor in the success of a working dog. The need for highly capable detection dogs continues to rise; but reliable methods for early selection are lacking. The current study aimed to assess the reliability and validity of a behavioral test for assessing detection dog suitability. A cohort of candidate detection dog puppies (n = 60) were tested at 3; 5; and 11 months of age; as well as at the completion of training at approximately one year. Tests were designed to assess important detection dog behavioral characteristics such as search ability and fearfulness. Inter-rater reliability was high between independent observers. Convergent validity was demonstrated by comparing Principal Component Analysis (PCA) scores from the behavior test to trainer ratings using the Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire (C-BARQ) and a survey of detection dog traits. Performance on the behavior test predicted adult selection as a detection dog as early as 3 months. The methods reported will be valuable for improving selection measures and enhancing collaborations across breeding programs in order to increase the availability of highly capable detection dogs. Full article
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Article
Reliability of a New Bite Force Measure and Biomechanics of Modified Long Attack in Police Dogs
Animals 2021, 11(3), 874; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11030874 - 18 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1042
Abstract
Information on the biomechanics of police dogs’ tasks is important in understanding their work-related injuries and dysfunctions. This study aimed to develop and test a measurement tool for dogs’ functional bite force and to report modified long attack-related kinetic and kinematic values. Twenty [...] Read more.
Information on the biomechanics of police dogs’ tasks is important in understanding their work-related injuries and dysfunctions. This study aimed to develop and test a measurement tool for dogs’ functional bite force and to report modified long attack-related kinetic and kinematic values. Twenty Finnish male police dogs, 7 German Shepherd Dogs (GSDs) and 13 Belgian Shepherd Dogs, Malinois (BSDMs), were included. Dogs accelerated 25 m and bit the helper’s sleeve, fitted with three force sensors. Dogs were wearing a 3D accelerometer and were videotaped with a high-speed camera. The sleeve’s reliability for measuring the dog’s bite force was evaluated via intraclass correlation and Cronbach’s alpha. Otherwise, a Mann–Whitney U-test was used, with significance set at p = 0.05. The sleeve’s test-retest reliability was moderate to good (intraclass correlation of 0.75), and internal consistency was high (Cronbach’s alpha 0.75). The GSDs’ median bite force was 360.4 N (interquartile range (IQR) 628.6 N) and BSDMs’ 247.0 N (IQR 289.8 N). Median acceleration maximum was 7.1 gravitational force equivalent (g) and median deceleration maximum was 11.6 g, with highest recorded forces being 9.2 g and 13.1 g, respectively. The measurement sleeve was a reliable tool for measuring functional bite force in GSDs and BSDMs. Forces related to bite, approach and impact in the two breeds were reported. Full article
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Article
Observational Study on Lameness Recovery in 10 Dogs Affected by Iliopsoas Injury and Submitted to a Physiotherapeutic Approach
Animals 2021, 11(2), 419; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020419 - 06 Feb 2021
Viewed by 572
Abstract
This preliminary study has investigated the outcome of physiotherapy in 10 dogs affected by a primary lesion of the iliopsoas muscle and the potential effects of sex, age, and breed on recovery. Ten dogs with primary injury of the iliopsoas muscle were retrospectively [...] Read more.
This preliminary study has investigated the outcome of physiotherapy in 10 dogs affected by a primary lesion of the iliopsoas muscle and the potential effects of sex, age, and breed on recovery. Ten dogs with primary injury of the iliopsoas muscle were retrospectively included in this study. Dogs were submitted to a rehabilitation program, characterized by a multimodal approach, including physical therapies and modalities. After recovery, patients were submitted to a further support period of rehabilitation to promote muscle strengthening and limit injury recurrence during their return to normal functional and sports activity. Border collies were highly represented. The recovery of lameness occurred after a mean of 22.6 ± 14.7 (median 18) days with a median number of five sessions. None of the examined variables affected the recovery time, except for the border collie breed, which showed a significantly faster recovery time; however, there was no difference between the breeds with regard to the number of sessions. Multimodal rehabilitation therapy may promote lameness recovery of mild-to-moderate iliopsoas lesions within 3 weeks. This preliminary study reports a clinical approach and recovery of primary iliopsoas lesions, findings that can provide clinicians with useful prognostic information for dogs involved in sports activities. Full article
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Article
Early Evaluation of Fearfulness in Future Guide Dogs for Blind People
Animals 2021, 11(2), 412; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020412 - 05 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 711
Abstract
Fear is the leading cause of guide dog failure. Detecting the nature and causes of these fears as early as possible is the first step in preventing their occurrence. The process of habituation is a fundamental part of fear prevention. In this study, [...] Read more.
Fear is the leading cause of guide dog failure. Detecting the nature and causes of these fears as early as possible is the first step in preventing their occurrence. The process of habituation is a fundamental part of fear prevention. In this study, 11 puppies, all five months of age, underwent an emotional reactivity test (ERT) composed of 12 scored items, classified into three categories: unknown person (UP), sound and visual stimuli (SVS), and body sensitivity (BS). Salivary cortisol was also measured. Foster families were asked to complete a questionnaire concerning puppies’ habituation. The physiological data were correlated with UP (r = 0.71) and BS scores (r = 0.67), but not with SVS scores (r = 0.16), suggesting the ability of these dogs to control themselves when faced with the latter stimulus category. Additionally, the more time a puppy spent alone, the more likely it was to be afraid of SVS (p = 0.05). A correlation, albeit moderate, was detected between cortisol and habituation scores (r = 0.48). These results give us interesting avenues to explore, particularly regarding the importance of focusing on early puppy socialization and habituation to improve the numbers of guide dog candidates becoming successful guide dogs. Full article
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Article
Superficial Heating Evaluation by Thermographic Imaging before and after Tecar Therapy in Six Dogs Submitted to a Rehabilitation Protocol: A Pilot Study
Animals 2021, 11(2), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020249 - 20 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 578
Abstract
Thermography is a non-invasive diagnostic method commonly used to monitor changes of the body surface temperature potentially induced by different conditions such as fever, inflammation, trauma, or changes of tissue perfusion. Capacitive-resistive diathermy therapy (such as energy transfer capacitive and resistive—Tecar) is commonly [...] Read more.
Thermography is a non-invasive diagnostic method commonly used to monitor changes of the body surface temperature potentially induced by different conditions such as fever, inflammation, trauma, or changes of tissue perfusion. Capacitive-resistive diathermy therapy (such as energy transfer capacitive and resistive—Tecar) is commonly used in rehabilitation due to its diathemic effect secondary to blood circulation increase that could accelerate the healing process. The aim of this study was to monitor by thermal camera the diathermic effects induced by Tecar on the surface of the region of application. The investigation was conducted on six dogs referred for Tecar therapy to treat muscle contractures (three dogs) or osteoarthritis (three dogs). Eleven anatomical treated regions were recorded. Thermographic images and relative measurements were obtained by each region immediately before (T0), at conclusion (T1), and sixty seconds after the Tecar application (T2). Data were recorded and statistically analyzed. A comparison of temperature differences (maximum, minimum and mean values) between T0 and T1, T0 and T2, and T1 and T2 was performed by ANOVA test with Bonferroni post hoc (p ≤ 0.05). Statistically significant differences were detected for mean temperature between T0 (32.42 ± 1.57 °C) and T1 (33.36 ± 1.17 °C) (p = 0.040) and between T1 and T2 (32.83 ± 1.31 °C) (p = 0.031). Furthermore, there was no significant difference between the mean temperature at T0 and T2, demonstrating that superficial diathermic effect exhausted within 60 s. Full article
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Article
Removal of Aerosolized Contaminants from Working Canines via a Field Wipe-Down Procedure
Animals 2021, 11(1), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11010120 - 08 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1181
Abstract
Evidence-based canine decontamination protocols are underrepresented in the veterinary literature. Aerosolized microbiological and chemical contaminants can pose a risk in deployment environments highlighting the need for improved canine field decontamination strategies. Prior work has established the efficacy of traditional, water-intensive methods on contaminant [...] Read more.
Evidence-based canine decontamination protocols are underrepresented in the veterinary literature. Aerosolized microbiological and chemical contaminants can pose a risk in deployment environments highlighting the need for improved canine field decontamination strategies. Prior work has established the efficacy of traditional, water-intensive methods on contaminant removal from the coat of the working canine; however, it is not known if similar reductions can be achieved with simple field expedient methods when resources are limited. The objective of this study was to measure the reduction of aerosolized contamination via a practical “wipe-down” procedure performed on working canine coats contaminated with a fluorescent, non-toxic, water-based aerosol. Disposable, lint-free towels were saturated with one of three treatments: water, 2% chlorhexidine gluconate scrub (CHX), or 7.5% povidone-iodine scrub (PVD). Both CHX and PVD were diluted at a 1:4 ratio. Treatments were randomly assigned to one of three quadrants established across the shoulders and back of commonly utilized working dog breeds (Labrador retrievers, n = 16; German shepherds, n = 16). The fourth quadrant remained unwiped, thus serving as a control. Reduction in fluorescent marker contamination was measured and compared across all quadrants. PVD demonstrated greater marker reduction compared to CHX or water in both breeds (p < 0.0001). Reduction was similar between CHX or water in Labradors (p = 0.86) and shepherds (p = 0.06). Effective wipe-down strategies using common veterinary cleansers should be further investigated and incorporated into decontamination practices to safeguard working canine health and prevent cross-contamination of human personnel working with these animals. Full article
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2020

Jump to: 2021

Article
Concurrent and Predictive Criterion Validity of a Puppy Behaviour Questionnaire for Predicting Training Outcome in Juvenile Guide Dogs
Animals 2020, 10(12), 2382; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10122382 - 11 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1479
Abstract
Working dog organisations regularly assess the behaviour of puppies to monitor progression. Here, we tested the predictive validity (for predicting success in guide dog training) of a shortened version of a previously developed juvenile dog behaviour questionnaire (the refined puppy walker questionnaire, r-PWQ) [...] Read more.
Working dog organisations regularly assess the behaviour of puppies to monitor progression. Here, we tested the predictive validity (for predicting success in guide dog training) of a shortened version of a previously developed juvenile dog behaviour questionnaire (the refined puppy walker questionnaire, r-PWQ) and compared it with the Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire (C-BARQ). The r-PWQ is used by Guide Dogs UK, whereas the C-BARQ was designed for pet dogs and is used by some other guide dog schools internationally. A cohort of dogs aged eight months (n = 359) were scored concurrently on the r-PWQ and C-BARQ. Analogous traits between the questionnaires were evaluated for internal consistency and association with training outcome and compared for concurrent validity. The r-PWQ was associated with training outcome for five scales (r-Excitability, Trainability, Animal Chase, r-Attachment and attention seeking and Distractibility) and the C-BARQ for two scales (Excitability and Separation-related behaviour). There were significant correlations between analogous C-BARQ and r-PWQ trait scores (p < 0.001) except for Separation-related behaviour and questionnaire scales had similar internal consistencies. The r-PWQ may be more suitable to use with guide dog schools. However, due to the correlation between analogous scales (except for “Distractibility”) some scales could be substituted for one another when reviewing the behaviour of dogs between guide dog schools using different questionnaires. Full article
Article
Better to Have Loved and Lost? Human Avoidant Attachment Style Towards Dogs Predicts Group Membership as ‘Forever Owner’ or ‘Foster Carer’
Animals 2020, 10(9), 1679; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091679 - 17 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1241
Abstract
Important physiological, performance, and relationship differences have been reported between companion and working dogs. This study aimed to investigate how human attachment styles manifest towards dogs, depending on the dog’s role. Seeing Eye Dog (SED) carer (n = 25) and Companion Dog [...] Read more.
Important physiological, performance, and relationship differences have been reported between companion and working dogs. This study aimed to investigate how human attachment styles manifest towards dogs, depending on the dog’s role. Seeing Eye Dog (SED) carer (n = 25) and Companion Dog Owner (CDO) (n = 78) avoidant and anxious attachment scores towards the dog in their care were compared. Feelings and motivations about being a SED carer or CDO were also investigated qualitatively. Significant differences were observed between pet avoidance, with avoidance scores significantly predicting SED carer group membership. Qualitative insights revealed more human prosocial motivations for becoming a SED carer, and more dog-related motivations for becoming a CDO, with CDOs more likely to consider their dog a ‘significant other’. This study corroborates findings supporting differences in human–dog relationships for working versus companion dogs. The potential impacts of human–dog attachment should be considered for SED success. Full article

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Title: Better to Have Loved and Lost? Human Avoidant Attachment Style Towards Dogs Predicts Group Membership as ‘Forever Owner’ or ‘Foster Carer’.
Authors: Jannine Lockyer; Jessica Lee Oliva
Affiliation: School of Psychological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Abstract: Important physiological, performance, and relationship differences have been reported between companion and working dogs. This study aimed to investigate how human attachment styles manifest towards dogs, depending on the dog’s role. Seeing Eye Dog (SED) carer (n=25) and Companion Dog Owner (CDO) (n=78) avoidant and anxious attachment scores towards the dog in their care were compared. Feelings and motivations about being a SED carer or CDO were also investigated qualitatively. Significant differences were observed between pet avoidance, with avoidance scores significantly predicting SED carer membership. Qualitative insights revealed more human prosocial motivations for becoming a SED carer, and more dog-related motivations for becoming a CDO, with CDOs more likely to consider their dog a ‘significant other’. This study corroborates findings supporting differences in human-dog relationships for working versus companion dogs. The potential impacts of human-dog attachment should be considered for SED dog success.

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