Special Issue "Canine Behavior, Behavioral Wellbeing"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Niwako Ogata
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
Interests: behavior disorders; behavioral wellbeing; translational research; biomarkers; objective measurement; dogs; cats; companion animals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Canine behaviors have been studied from the aspect of owner’s perceptions, symptoms of behavior disorders, and medical disorders such as neurological conditions or pain. In recent years, as the knowledge of this field has grown, there is increased awareness of the importance of psychological and behavioral well-being and their impact on the physiological health of dogs. However, we also realize more studies are needed to collect quantitative data that allow for clinical application.

Multidimensional factors that help to enhance our scientific understanding of canine behaviors are

  • Interpreting and evaluating behaviors;
  • Preventing behavior disorders;
  • Optimizing therapeutic outcomes;
  • Evaluating behavior training and management;
  • Assessing environmental factors;
  • Examining influence of caregiver’s satisfaction or burden.

This Special Issue welcomes contributions on these topics in original and clinical investigations or literature reviews from interdisciplinary research.

Dr. Niwako Ogata
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • behavior assessment
  • behavior problems/disorders
  • behavioral well-being
  • behavior management/treatment
  • behavior modification

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
An Investigation into the Impact of Pre-Adolescent Training on Canine Behavior
Animals 2021, 11(5), 1298; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11051298 - 30 Apr 2021
Viewed by 5150
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Canine Behavior, Behavioral Wellbeing)
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Article
Changes in Behaviour and Voluntary Physical Activity Exhibited by Sled Dogs throughout Incremental Exercise Conditioning and Intermittent Rest Days
Animals 2021, 11(1), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11010118 - 08 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 808
Abstract
Participation in repetitive endurance training decreases sled dogs’ voluntary activity and locomotive behaviours; however, the changes in their voluntary physical activity over consecutive rest days has not been examined to assess exercise-recovery. The objective of this study was to examine the changes in [...] Read more.
Participation in repetitive endurance training decreases sled dogs’ voluntary activity and locomotive behaviours; however, the changes in their voluntary physical activity over consecutive rest days has not been examined to assess exercise-recovery. The objective of this study was to examine the changes in behaviour and voluntary activity of sled dogs throughout repetitive incremental conditioning and intermittent rest days. Fourteen dogs (6 males, 8 females; age 3.7 ± 2.7 years; BW 21.5 ± 2.8 kg) underwent 10 weeks of conditioning. Once a week, 5-min video recordings were taken pre- and post-exercise to measure the time spent performing agonistic behaviours, chewing on the gangline, digging, jumping, lunging, posture changing, sitting, standing and lying. Additionally, voluntary physical activity was measured on a day with an exercise bout during baseline, week 4, 5 and 7 and two consecutive rest days during baseline, week 1, 4, 5 and 7. A repeated-measures mixed model was used to analyse data in SAS (v 9.4.). As dogs progressed through their conditioning, the time spent changing posture prior to an exercise bout decreased (p < 0.05), suggesting that dogs may reduce their voluntary locomotive behaviours with increasing exercise. Additionally, dogs were more active during the second consecutive rest day than the first (p < 0.05), suggesting that rest days may provide a short-term recovery period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Canine Behavior, Behavioral Wellbeing)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Stranger-directed aggression in pet dogs: Owner, environment, training and dog-associated risk factors
Authors: Hannah E. Flint (1,2), Jason B. Coe (1), David L. Pearl (1), James A. Serpell (3), Lee Niel (1*)
Affiliation: 1: Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road E., Guelph, ON, Canada, N1G 2W1 2: Current address: WALTHAM Petcare Science Institute, Leicestershire, UK, LE14 4RT 3: Department of Clinical Studies VHUP, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 3800 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA, USA, 19104
Abstract: Stranger-directed aggression (SDA) in dogs can result in injuries, impair the human-animal bond and lead to increased use of physical punishment, relinquishment or euthanasia. We determined risk factors for SDA in dogs using an online questionnaire assessing dog temperament (using C-BARQ), as well as dog and owner characteristics, training and environment. General SDA score was analyzed using mixed linear regression (n=2,760), and severe SDA (bites or bite attempts) was compared to threatening behaviours using a mixed logistic regression model (n=2,383 dogs); household was included as a random effect. Various factors were associated with increased SDA scores including dog temperament (higher impulsivity and fear of strangers, indifference towards strangers as a puppy), dog characteristics (male, neutered for behaviour, breed differences), training and environment (fed on a schedule, use of potentially aversive methods and aids in training, limited exposure to strangers as a puppy, history of abuse), and owner characteristics (extroverted owners, reduced ability to identify absence of aggression). Lower SDA scores were associated with crating, training with positive reinforcement and redirection, and exercising on-leash, off-leash or at the dog park. Severe SDA was associated with severe fear of strangers, higher impulsivity scores, male dogs, limited exposure to and indifference towards strangers as a puppy, use of potentially aversive methods and aids in training, and limited exercising off leash. The primary risk factors for SDA relate to dog and training variables, and these results can be used to inform future research examining appropriate training and management of dogs to pre-vent development of SDA.

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