Special Issue "Sleep Behaviour and Physiology of Domestic Dogs"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Companion Animals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 April 2020) | Viewed by 38858

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Anna Kis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 1117 Budapest, Hungary
Interests: dog; social behaviour; oxytocin; sleep; polysomnography

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Dogs, being one of the most common pets in Western societies and showing several human-analogue behaviours, have been intensively studied. It has been argued recently that, in addition to their awake-behaviours, dogs’ sleep-related functions are also both excellent models of comparable human functions as well as important for their well-being and veterinary treatment. This Special Issue will collect empirical research as well as opinion/review papers relating to canine sleep including, but not limited to, observations under natural conditions and laboratory-based research about broadly defined physiology and behaviour. Our aim is to bring together new and emerging findings from the field of canine sleep research in order to raise awareness of its importance and far-reaching relevance.

Dr. Anna Kis
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • dog
  • Canis familiaris
  • sleep
  • behaviour
  • cognition
  • physiology
  • EEG
  • welfare

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Article
Social Context Influences Resting Physiology in Dogs
Animals 2020, 10(12), 2214; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10122214 - 26 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 934
Abstract
Domestication has affected the social life of dogs. They seem to be less dependent on their pack members than wolves, potentially causing dogs to be more alert towards their environment, especially when resting. Such a response has been found in dogs resting alone [...] Read more.
Domestication has affected the social life of dogs. They seem to be less dependent on their pack members than wolves, potentially causing dogs to be more alert towards their environment, especially when resting. Such a response has been found in dogs resting alone compared to wolves in the same situation. However, as this may be influenced by social context, we compared alertness (i.e., degree of activation along the sleep–wake continuum—measured via cardiac parameters) of pack-living and enclosure-kept dogs in two conditions: (1) alone, and (2) with pack members, and in two states of activation: (1) inactive wakefulness, and (2) resting. We found that when dogs were resting alone, alertness was higher than when resting in the pack; individual alertness was potentially influenced by social rank. However, alertness was similar in the two conditions during inactive wakefulness. Thus, depending on social context, familiar conspecifics may still provide support in dogs; i.e., domestication has probably only partly shifted the social orientation of dogs from conspecifics to humans. We suggest that cardiac responses of dogs may be more flexible than those of wolves because of their adaptation to the more variable presence of humans and conspecifics in their environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sleep Behaviour and Physiology of Domestic Dogs)
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Article
Dreaming about Dogs: An Online Survey
Animals 2020, 10(10), 1915; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10101915 - 19 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1230
Abstract
Dogs have been close human companions for millennia and one would expect—according to the continuity hypothesis of dreaming—that dogs are also quite common in dreams. Previous studies showed that the percentages of dreams that include dogs range from about 1.5% to 5%, but [...] Read more.
Dogs have been close human companions for millennia and one would expect—according to the continuity hypothesis of dreaming—that dogs are also quite common in dreams. Previous studies showed that the percentages of dreams that include dogs range from about 1.5% to 5%, but studies relating waking-life experiences with dogs with dreams about dogs have not been carried out. In total, 1695 persons (960 women, 735 men) completed an online survey that included questions about dreams and waking-life experiences that included dogs. The findings indicate that dogs show up, on average, in about 5% of remembered dreams, but this percentage is much higher in the dreams of dog owners and persons with close contacts with dogs. Moreover, the active time spent with a dog and the proximity during sleep is also related to a higher percentage of dreams that include dogs. Although dreams including dogs are on average more positively toned than dreams in general, about 11% of the dog dreams included threatening dogs. Persons who had negative experiences with dogs in their waking lives reported more threatening dog dreams. The results support the continuity hypothesis and it would be very interesting to conduct content analytic studies with dream samples obtained from dog owners to learn more about the variety of interactions between dreamers and dogs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sleep Behaviour and Physiology of Domestic Dogs)
Article
Dog–Human Play, but Not Resting Post-Learning Improve Re-Training Performance up to One Year after Initial Task Acquisition in Labrador Retriever Dogs: A Follow-On Study
Animals 2020, 10(7), 1235; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10071235 - 21 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4279
Abstract
Arousing and emotional situations can improve cognitive performance and the memorability of events. Recently, the enhancement of training performance in Labrador Retriever dogs through 30 min of dog–human play immediately after acquiring a novel task, when compared to a resting period, was demonstrated. [...] Read more.
Arousing and emotional situations can improve cognitive performance and the memorability of events. Recently, the enhancement of training performance in Labrador Retriever dogs through 30 min of dog–human play immediately after acquiring a novel task, when compared to a resting period, was demonstrated. This follow-on study used the same pseudo-randomized, counterbalanced, between-subject study design, and 11 Labrador Retrievers were re-trained in the identical two-choice discrimination paradigm after a period of 1 year. The playful activities group needed significantly less trials and made significantly less errors to successfully reach the re-training criterion (Mann–Whitney U test, critical value of U at p < 0.05 is 5, U = 5, Z = 1.73, p = 0.04 and U = 4.5, Z = 1.8, p = 0.03, respectively). Following model simplification of a multiple factor/covariate general linear model analysis, the type of intervention, the number of trials needed to re-learn the task after 24 h, the average heart rate during the intervention a year ago, and age were significantly correlated to the number of trials and errors needed to resolve the task. A significant difference due to intervention allocation (heart rate during the intervention, trials needed to re-learn the task after 24 h) between the groups was confirmed. Age did not significantly differ between the groups; nevertheless, the effects of ageing cannot be fully excluded, given the low sample size. No effects of the trainer and of the cortisol concentrations (of the previous year) were observed. This is the first evidence that post-training activity may influence memory up to 1 year after task acquisition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sleep Behaviour and Physiology of Domestic Dogs)
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Article
Sleep Duration and Behaviours: A Descriptive Analysis of a Cohort of Dogs up to 12 Months of Age
Animals 2020, 10(7), 1172; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10071172 - 10 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 5116
Abstract
Sleep is a vital behaviour that can reflect an animal’s adaptation to the environment and their welfare. However, a better understanding of normal age-specific sleep patterns is crucial. This study aims to provide population norms and descriptions of sleep-related behaviours for 16-week-old puppies [...] Read more.
Sleep is a vital behaviour that can reflect an animal’s adaptation to the environment and their welfare. However, a better understanding of normal age-specific sleep patterns is crucial. This study aims to provide population norms and descriptions of sleep-related behaviours for 16-week-old puppies and 12-month-old dogs living in domestic environments. Participants recruited to a longitudinal study answered questions relating to their dogs’ sleep behaviours in surveys issued to them when their dogs reached 16 weeks (n = 2332) and 12 months of age (n = 1091). For the statistical analysis, subpopulations of dogs with data regarding sleep duration at both timepoints were used. Owners of 16-week-old puppies perceived their dogs to sleep longer during the day and over a 24 h period, but for less time during the night than owners of 12-month-old dogs. At both timepoints, dogs were most commonly settled to sleep by being left in a room/area without human company. However, of dogs that had access to people overnight, 86.7% and 86.8% chose to be around people at 16 weeks and 12 months of age, respectively. The most common sleeping place was in a kennel/crate at 16 weeks (49.1%), and a dog bed at 12 months (31.7%). Future research within this longitudinal study will investigate how sleep duration and behaviours change with age and impact on a dog’s health and behaviour. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sleep Behaviour and Physiology of Domestic Dogs)
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Article
Reliability of Family Dogs’ Sleep Structure Scoring Based on Manual and Automated Sleep Stage Identification
Animals 2020, 10(6), 927; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10060927 - 26 May 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1605
Abstract
Non-invasive polysomnography recording on dogs has been claimed to produce data comparable to those for humans regarding sleep macrostructure, EEG spectra and sleep spindles. While functional parallels have been described relating to both affective (e.g., emotion processing) and cognitive (e.g., memory consolidation) domains, [...] Read more.
Non-invasive polysomnography recording on dogs has been claimed to produce data comparable to those for humans regarding sleep macrostructure, EEG spectra and sleep spindles. While functional parallels have been described relating to both affective (e.g., emotion processing) and cognitive (e.g., memory consolidation) domains, methodologically relevant questions about the reliability of sleep stage scoring still need to be addressed. In Study 1, we analyzed the effects of different coders and different numbers of visible EEG channels on the visual scoring of the same polysomnography recordings. The lowest agreement was found between independent coders with different scoring experience using full (3 h-long) recordings of the whole dataset, and the highest agreement within-coder, using only a fraction of the original dataset (randomly selected 100 epochs (i.e., 100 × 20 s long segments)). The identification of drowsiness was found to be the least reliable, while that of non-REM (rapid eye movement, NREM) was the most reliable. Disagreements resulted in no or only moderate differences in macrostructural and spectral variables. Study 2 targeted the task of automated sleep EEG time series classification. Supervised machine learning (ML) models were used to help the manual annotation process by reliably predicting if the dog was sleeping or awake. Logistic regression models (LogREG), gradient boosted trees (GBT) and convolutional neural networks (CNN) were set up and trained for sleep state prediction from already collected and manually annotated EEG data. The evaluation of the individual models suggests that their combination results in the best performance: ~0.9 AUC test scores. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sleep Behaviour and Physiology of Domestic Dogs)
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Article
Human-Animal Co-Sleeping: An Actigraphy-Based Assessment of Dogs’ Impacts on Women’s Nighttime Movements
Animals 2020, 10(2), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020278 - 11 Feb 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 23973
Abstract
Humans regularly enter into co-sleeping arrangements with human and non-human partners. Studies of adults who co-sleep report that co-sleeping can impact sleep quality, particularly for women. Although dog owners often choose to bedshare with their dogs, we know relatively little about the nature [...] Read more.
Humans regularly enter into co-sleeping arrangements with human and non-human partners. Studies of adults who co-sleep report that co-sleeping can impact sleep quality, particularly for women. Although dog owners often choose to bedshare with their dogs, we know relatively little about the nature of these relationships, nor the extent to which co-sleeping might interfere with sleep quality or quantity. In an effort to rectify this, we selected a sample of 12 adult female human (M = 50.8 years) and dog dyads, and monitored their activity using actigraphy. We collected movement data in one-minute epochs for each sleep period for an average of 10 nights per participant. This resulted in 124 nights of data, covering 54,533 observations (M = 7.3 hours per night). In addition, we collected subjective sleep diary data from human participants. We found a significant positive relationship between human and dog movement over sleep periods, with dogs influencing human movement more than humans influenced dog movement. Dog movement accompanied approximately 50% of human movement observations, and dog movement tripled the likelihood of the human transitioning from a non-moving state to a moving state. Nevertheless, humans rarely reported that their dog disrupted their sleep. We encourage the continued exploration of human-animal co-sleeping in all its facets and provide recommendations for future research in this area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sleep Behaviour and Physiology of Domestic Dogs)
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Article
The Sleep of Shelter Dogs Was Not Disrupted by Overnight Light Rather than Darkness in a Crossover Trial
Animals 2019, 9(10), 794; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9100794 - 14 Oct 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1113
Abstract
Dogs in shelters may be unattended at night. The purpose of this study is to describe the night-time behavior of dogs in a shelter and to determine if artificial light affected their sleeping patterns. Ten dogs were video-recorded under both light and dark [...] Read more.
Dogs in shelters may be unattended at night. The purpose of this study is to describe the night-time behavior of dogs in a shelter and to determine if artificial light affected their sleeping patterns. Ten dogs were video-recorded under both light and dark conditions and their behavior recorded using focal animal sampling. The dogs were lying down 649 ± 40 min (mean ± SD) in the light condition and 629 ± 58 min in the dark condition each night. They awoke, stood up, turned around and then lay down again every 48 to 50 min. There was no significant difference in time spent lying between the two conditions (p > 0.05). Light did not seem to affect their behavior. The conclusion is that dogs in shelters may sleep in the absence of people and that light does not disrupt their sleep patterns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sleep Behaviour and Physiology of Domestic Dogs)
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