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Studies About Dogs

121 posts in this topic

An interesting article comparing the behaviour of different breeds of dog to ancestral wolf behaviour.

Anim. Behav., 1997, 53, 297–304

Paedomorphosis affects agonistic visual signals of domestic dogs

DEBORAH GOODWIN, JOHN W. S. BRADSHAW & STEPHEN M. WICKENS

Anthrozoology Institute, University of Southampton

Abstract. Many of the structural modifications of modern breeds of domestic dog, Canis familiaris, can

be explained by changes in the rate of development, during domestication from the wolf, C. lupus. These

changes have been dominated by paedomorphosis, or underdevelopment, so that the adult passes

through fewer growth stages and resembles a juvenile stage of its ancestor. In this paper the effects of

these processes on the signalling ability of 10 breeds selected for their degree of physical dissimilarity to

the wolf are examined. The number of ancestral dominant and submissive behaviour patterns used

during signalling within single-breed groups ranged from two (Cavalier King Charles spaniel) to 15

(Siberian husky), and this correlated positively with the degree to which the breed physically resembles

the wolf, as assessed by a panel of 14 dog behaviour counsellors. When the signals displayed by each

breed were grouped according to the stage of wolf development in which they first appear, those breeds

with the smallest repertoires were found to draw most of their signals from those appearing before 20

days of age in the wolf, suggesting that physical paedomorphism has been accompanied by behavioural

paedomorphism.

Link to full article

Interesting, start, but needs much more work to be convincing. I would have liked to see more description of Fox's studies of wolf behaviour, eg., description of where it was done under what circumstances. His work is ~ 40 years old . . . are his methods still considered valid? Do the wolves he studied reflect wolves as a whole? And more importantly, do they represent wolves as they existed before extensive environmental modification by Homo sapiens.

I don't think you can characterize all French Bulldogs by observing four females interact in five one hour sessions. I find the group behaviour of Labradors varies considerably between breeders . . . don't know if this is due to genetics or environment.

It's peculiar that he doesn't mention Balyaev's work with foxes which so strongly showed correlation between morphological and behavioural changes during domestication.

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Association of inflammatory markers elevation with aggressive behavior in domestic dogs

Simona Re, Marco Zanoletti and Enzo Emanuele

Journal of Ethology, Volume 27, Number 1, 31-33,

ABSTRACT: Canine aggressive behaviour is one of the most common problems being reported by dog owners. However, the biochemical basis of this phenomenon remains unclear. In humans, alterations in omega-3 plasma polyunsatured fatty acids and elevated omega6/omega-3 ratio have been linked to behavioural alterations, including aggression. Thus far, however, the relationship between plasma polyunsatured fatty acid status and aggression has not been investigated in the dog. In the present study we sought to investigate whether polyunsatured fatty acid status could be altered in plasma of pathologically aggressive Canis familiaris. Eighteen adult male German Shepherd dogs, aged 4.9 ± 0.9 years, showing no clinical signs but aggression, were investigated. Eighteen healthy male dogs, aged 4.8 ± 0.7 years, with a negative history of behavioural and neurological disorders served as controls. Baseline fasting plasma polyunsatured fatty acid composition was determined by gas chromatography. Compared to normal dogs, aggressive dogs showed lower docosahexaenoic acid (22:6 n-3) concentrations and a higher omega6/omega-3 ratio. In addition, they showed reduced cholesterol and bilirubin concentrations compared to their normally behaving counterparts. Altogether, our results suggest that low omega-3 fatty acids may adversely impact behaviour in dogs, resulting in greater propensity to aggression. However, given the cross-sectional design of our study, we cannot claim any causal relationship between the presence of alterations in fatty acid status and canine aggressiveness. Whether omega-3 fatty acids supplementation may be useful to reduce aggressive behaviour in the dog deserves further investigation.

There have been some interesting studies comparing aggressive and non-aggressive individual dogs from the same breed. Much of the work has been done on golden retrievers in Scandanavia. They seem to be finding some genetic causes related to seratonin and dopamine. (see www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100525090552.htm or Google 'canine aggression seratonin dopamine). Wouldn't it be great if they come out with ways to identify inherently aggressive dogs via cheek swabs and forget all this breed specific nonsense.

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Aidan3   

http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/psp-ofp-mcconnell.pdf

Friends With Benefits: On the Positive Consequences of

Pet Ownership

Allen R. McConnell, Christina M. Brown, Tonya M. Shoda, Laura E. Stayton, and Colleen E.

Martin

Online First Publication, July 4, 2011. doi: 10.1037/a0024506

"Social support is critical for psychological and physical well-being, reflecting the centrality of belongingness

in our lives. Human interactions often provide people with considerable social support, but can

pets also fulfill one’s social needs? Although there is correlational evidence that pets may help

individuals facing significant life stressors, little is known about the well-being benefits of pets for

everyday people. Study 1 found in a community sample that pet owners fared better on several well-being

(e.g., greater self-esteem, more exercise) and individual-difference (e.g., greater conscientiousness, less

fearful attachment) measures. Study 2 assessed a different community sample and found that owners

enjoyed better well-being when their pets fulfilled social needs better, and the support that pets provided

complemented rather than competed with human sources. Finally, Study 3 brought pet owners into the

laboratory and experimentally demonstrated the ability of pets to stave off negativity caused by social

rejection. In summary, pets can serve as important sources of social support, providing many positive

psychological and physical benefits for their owners."

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http://www.apa.org/p...p-mcconnell.pdf

Friends With Benefits: On the Positive Consequences of

Pet Ownership

but it doesn't always work that way . . . these researchers seem to have set out to find pets a benefit and found the opposite

Gerontology. 2005 Jan-Feb;51(1):40-7.

Pet ownership and health in older adults: findings from a survey of 2,551 community-based Australians aged 60-64.

Parslow RA, Jorm AF, Christensen H, Rodgers B, Jacomb P.

Source

Centre for Mental Health Research, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia. [email protected]

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

It is commonly assumed that owning a pet provides older residents in the community with health benefits including improved physical health and psychological well-being. It has also been reported that pet owners are lower on neuroticism and higher on extraversion compared with those without pets. However, findings of research on this topic have been mixed with a number of researchers reporting that, for older people, there is little or no health benefit associated with pet ownership.

OBJECTIVE:

To identify health benefits associated with pet ownership and pet caring responsibilities in a large sample of older community-based residents.

METHODS:

Using survey information provided by 2,551 individuals aged between 60 and 64 years, we compared the sociodemographic attributes, mental and physical health measures, and personality traits of pet owners and non-owners. For 78.8% of these participants, we were also able to compare the health services used, based on information obtained from the national insurer on the number of general practitioner (GP) visits they made over a 12-month period.

RESULTS:

Compared with non-owners, those with pets reported more depressive symptoms while female pet owners who were married also had poorer physical health. We found that caring for a pet was associated with negative health outcomes including more symptoms of depression, poorer physical health and higher rates of use of pain relief medication. No relationship was found between pet ownership and use of GP services. When we examined the personality traits of pet owners and carers, we found that men who cared for pets had higher extraversion scores. Our principal and unexpected finding, however, was that pet owners and carers reported higher levels of psychoticism as measured by the Revised Eysenck Personality Questionnaire.

CONCLUSIONS:

We conclude that pet ownership confers no health benefits for this age group. Instead, those with pets have poorer mental and physical health and use more pain relief medication. Further, our study suggests that those with pets are less conforming to social norms as indicated by their higher levels of psychoticism.

Copyright © 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel

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Aidan3   
CONCLUSIONS:

We conclude that pet ownership confers no health benefits for this age group. Instead, those with pets have poorer mental and physical health and use more pain relief medication.

They could just as easily conclude that people with poorer mental and physical health, or those who suffer from pain, seek out the company of pets to provide social support, as suggested by the experimental data in McConnell et al. (2011).

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CONCLUSIONS:

We conclude that pet ownership confers no health benefits for this age group. Instead, those with pets have poorer mental and physical health and use more pain relief medication.

They could just as easily conclude that people with poorer mental and physical health, or those who suffer from pain, seek out the company of pets to provide social support, as suggested by the experimental data in McConnell et al. (2011).

I agree. Correlation does not prove causation and often confuses effect and cause...or finds correlations between two effect of another, unnoticed, cause. I found the article while trying (with no success) to locate a study I remember hearing of that showed that 'elders' with pets lived longer than those without pets. Science brainwashing says you MUST not throw out evidence that goes against your biases. Us dog lovers are inclined to look for evidence that shows our dogs are good for us. But we shouldn't discard other evidence.

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Aidan3   
CONCLUSIONS:

We conclude that pet ownership confers no health benefits for this age group. Instead, those with pets have poorer mental and physical health and use more pain relief medication.

They could just as easily conclude that people with poorer mental and physical health, or those who suffer from pain, seek out the company of pets to provide social support, as suggested by the experimental data in McConnell et al. (2011).

I agree. Correlation does not prove causation and often confuses effect and cause...or finds correlations between two effect of another, unnoticed, cause. I found the article while trying (with no success) to locate a study I remember hearing of that showed that 'elders' with pets lived longer than those without pets. Science brainwashing says you MUST not throw out evidence that goes against your biases. Us dog lovers are inclined to look for evidence that shows our dogs are good for us. But we shouldn't discard other evidence.

That's why I was particularly interested in the quasi-experimental data of McConnell et al. I've never seen anyone tackle this question using anything other than observational data.

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Jigsaw   

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016815911100181X

The effect of frequency and duration of training sessions on acquisition and long-term memory in dogs

Purchase

Helle Demanta, , , Jan Ladewigb, Thorsten J.S. Balsbya and Torben Dabelsteena

a University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science, Dept. of Biology. Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100 København Ø Denmark

b University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Life Sciences, Dept. of Large Animal Sciences. Grønnegårdsvej 8, DK-1870, Frederiksberg C, Denmark

Accepted 17 May 2011. Available online 15 June 2011.

Abstract

Most domestic dogs are subjected to some kind of obedience training, often on a frequent basis, but the question of how often and for how long a dog should be trained has not been fully investigated. Optimizing the training as much as possible is not only an advantage in the training of working dogs such as guide dogs and police dogs, also the training of family dogs can benefit from this knowledge. We studied the effect of frequency and duration of training sessions on acquisition and on long-term memory. Forty-four laboratory Beagles were divided into 4 groups and trained by means of operant conditioning and shaping to perform a traditional obedience task, each dog having a total of 18 training sessions. The training schedules of the 4 groups differentiated in frequency (1–2 times per week vs. daily) and duration (1 training session vs. 3 training sessions in a row). Acquisition was measured as achieved training level at a certain time. The dogs’ retention of the task was tested four weeks post-acquisition. Results demonstrated that dogs trained 1–2 times per week had significantly better acquisition than daily trained dogs, and that dogs trained only 1 session a day had significantly better acquisition than dogs trained 3 sessions in a row. The interaction between frequency and duration of training sessions was also significant, suggesting that the two affect acquisition differently depending on the combination of these. The combination of weekly training and one session resulted in the highest level of acquisition, whereas the combination of daily training and three sessions in a row resulted in the lowest level of acquisition. Daily training in one session produced similar results as weekly training combined with three sessions in a row. Training schedule did not affect retention of the learned task; all groups had a high level of retention after 4 weeks. The results of the study can be used to optimize training in dogs, which is important since the number of training sessions often is a limiting factor in practical dog training. The results also suggest that, once a task is learned, it is likely to be remembered for a period of at least four weeks after last practice, regardless of frequency and duration of the training sessions.

Keywords: Acquisition; Dogs; Massed training; Spaced training; Retention; Long term memory

Edited by Jigsaw

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Evidence that distressed animals are more likely to bite . . . even if they wouldn't in normal circumstances. Seems obvious, but given all the hooplah about dog bites lately, it's good to have some evidence. Interesting that these bites were mostly bites to people the animal knew (at least for dogs and cats, probably not so for snakes).

*Warner, G.S., 2010. Increased Incidence of Domestic Animal Bites following a Disaster Due to Natural Hazards. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine.

Abstract Introduction: During deployment following Hurricane Ike in September 2008, bites from domestic animals were among the top three trauma com- plaints seen at the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) base of operations. Problem: Unlike previous reports of frightened, misplaced dogs and cats bit- ing strangers and rescue workers, there was an increase in bites associated with presumed non-rabid pets who were known to the bite victim. Methods: This was an observational sampling of all patients presenting for medical care during deployment to the AL-3 DMAT base of operations in Webster, Texas, following Hurricane Ike. Findings were compared with unof- ficial local norms and observations from the literature. Results: Of the people with animal bites presenting to the field hospital, dog bites accounted for 55%, cat bites, 40%, and snake bites, 5%. Most of the wounds required suturing and were not simple punctures. Most bites (70%) involved the hand(s). Some patients presented >24 hours after the bite, and already had developed cellulitis. One patient required transfer and inpatient admission for intravenous antibiotics and debridement of a hand injury with spread into the metacarpophalangeal space. Conclusions: Most of the bites were severe and occurred within the first 72 hours after the hurricane, and waned steadily over the following weeks to baseline levels. No animal bites caused by misplaced dogs and cats biting strangers were seen. There was an increase in bites associated with domesticat- ed pets known to the bite victim. The current NDMS cache is stocked ade- quately to care for most wounds caused by animal bites. However post-exposure rabies treatment is not part of the routine medications offered. For future dis- aster preparedness training, pet owners should be aware of the increased potential for dog and cat bites.

Warner GS: Increased incidence of domestic animal bites following a disas- ter due to natural hazards. Prehosp Disaster Med 2009;25(2):188–190.

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corvus   

Source: Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Available online 12 September 2011

Factors affecting dog–dog interactions on walks with their owners[/size]

Petr Řezáč, Petra Viziová, Michaela Dobešová, Zdeněk Havlíček, Dagmar Pospíšilová

Little is known about factors influencing dyadic interactions between dogs in public places. This paper reports on the effect of dog age, gender and size, human gender and the use of a leash on the occurrence of body sniffing, scent-marking, playing games, showing a threat and biting in canine dyads on walks with their owners. Observations of 1870 interacting dogs were made in public places where owners frequently walked their dogs. Dogs off a leash sniffed one another more often than dogs on a leash (P < 0.001). Males sniffed females more often than vice versa (P < 0.05) and than when dogs of the same gender sniffed one another (P < 0.01). Males marked more often than females when they encountered the same gender (P < 0.05) as well as the opposite gender (P < 0.001). Puppies played together more than twice as often as adults (P < 0.001) and eleven times as often as seniors (P < 0.001). The occurrence of play was seen more often between dogs of opposite genders than between males (P < 0.01). Small, medium and large dogs played with dogs of the same size more often than with dogs of different sizes. Threat appeared twice as often between dogs on a leash as between dogs off a leash (P < 0.001). Dogs of the same genders showed a threat nearly three times more often than dogs of opposite genders (P < 0.01). Males (P < 0.05) and females (P < 0.01) bit dogs of the same gender more than five times more often than dogs of the opposite gender. Dogs showed a threat more often (P < 0.05) and they bit another dog more than four times more often (P < 0.05) when both owners were men than when they were women. In conclusion, the dog age, gender and size, human gender and the use of a leash had a marked effect on dyadic interactions between dogs on walks with their owners.

Edited by corvus

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Links to a set of articles written by the breeder who introduced the bob-tail gene into UK boxers. Here's an extract from the 'reflections on past progress' article of 7/7/2000

REFLECTIONS ON PAST PROGRESS

The study was conceived about 10 years ago. In part it was started as an academic exercise to see how feasible it might be to transfer a gene from one breed to another. But, given the probability that docking would eventually be banned in the UK, as was already happening in other countries, the bob-tail gene was specifically selected because of its potential practical application. The "recipient" breed was my own breed, the Boxer. The bob-tail "donor" was the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

I have often been asked over the years, "Why use a Corgi, which is such a different breed?" In truth I had never thought or worried about this. In the series of backcrosses planned, it should not matter what I started with. Unwanted characteristics of whatever nature would all be diluted out, generation by generation. Of more practical significance was the fact that Peggy Gamble of Blands Corgi fame and the late Patsy Hewan (Stormerbanks Corgis) had earlier asked me to investigate the inheritance of the bob-tail condition in the breed. This proved to be that of a single dominant gene, a finding that potentially made transfer into another breed relatively simple. Beyond this, it was fortuitous that the two main characteristics of the Corgi that I did not want, the longer coat and the short legs, were also inherited as dominants relative to the Boxer very short coat and long legs. This meant that once avoided in any generation, they would be gone forever. Nevertheless, quite apart from these two gene s, I was hugely surprised at just how easy it was to get back to Boxer appearance by repeated crossing to Boxer after the initial Corgi cross.

Reposted from the main body of the General section.

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I've seen this study mentioned many times. Thought it useful to post links for the original study. I think the underlined text below will give a link to the .pdf. It's an amazing study, both because the results are conclusive and because they observed their dogs for a full 15 years!

https://www.avma.org/News/Journals/Collections/Documents/javma_220_9_1315.pdf

Effects of diet restriction on life span and age-related changes in dogs

Richard D. Kealy, PhD; Dennis F. Lawler, DVM; Joan M. Ballam, MS; Sandra L. Mantz; Darryl N. Biery, DVM, DACVR; Elizabeth H. Greeley, PhD; George Lust, PhD; Mariangela Segre, DSc; Gail K. Smith, DVM, PhD, DACVS; Howard D. Stowe, DVM, PhD

Objective—To evaluate the effects of 25% diet restriction on life span of dogs and on markers of aging.

Design—Paired feeding study.

Animals—48 Labrador Retrievers.

Procedures—Dogs were paired, and 1 dog in each pair was fed 25% less food than its pair-mate from 8 weeks of age until death. Serum biochemical analy- ses were performed, body condition was scored, and body composition was measured annually until 12 years of age. Age at onset of chronic disease and median (age when 50% of the dogs were deceased) and maximum (age when 90% of the dogs were deceased) life spans were evaluated.

Results—Compared with control dogs, food-restrict- ed dogs weighed less and had lower body fat content and lower serum triglycerides, triiodothyronine, insulin, and glucose concentrations. Median life span was significantly longer for dogs in which food was restricted. The onset of clinical signs of chronic dis- ease generally was delayed for food-restricted dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results sug- gest that 25% restriction in food intake increased median life span and delayed the onset of signs of chronic disease in these dogs. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:1315–1320)

Edited by sandgrubber

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Aidan3   

I've seen this study mentioned many times. Thought it useful to post links for the original study. I think the underlined text below will give a link to the .pdf. It's an amazing study, both because the results are conclusive and because they observed their dogs for a full 15 years!

Good find, thanks for sharing.

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Longevity studies are hard to find for dogs. The most complete and credible seems to be reported in the following link: http://www.thekennel...org.uk/item/549

It is too detailed for summary . . . provides links to give you mortality and morbidity data for all breeds for which adequate data were reported.

KC/BSAVA Purebred Dog Health Survey 2004

The Kennel Club/British Small Animal Veterinary Association Scientific Committee joined forces with scientists in the Epidemiology Unit at the Animal Health Trust to carry out a nationwide survey of UK purebred dogs and, with the help of owners, to identify important health conditions in UK dog breeds during 2004. The Kennel Club Charitable Trust committed substantial funds to support this project, which could only succeed with the help of owners.

Questionnaires were sent to the numerically largest club of each breed, and secretaries were asked to send them out to their members. Only the largest club of each breed was selected to try and avoid duplication, and also to limit the vast number, and therefore cost, of the 70,000 forms needed.

The questionnaire was divided in different sections, concentrating on different types of information. There were questions on the health of the owner's dogs, breeding, causes of death and birth defects in any puppies.

Breed clubs have received detailed feedback on the results of this survey where breed response rate was at least 15%, which should greatly assist with the recognition and control of important conditions in specific breeds. Data gathered from this survey will provide baseline information against which the success of future control schemes can be measured.

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Hey guys, some fantastic articles here and I've finally had a chance to go through most of them. That said, I was thinking would it be possible to have subheadings to group the articles and make the information more accessible to people interested in specific topics?

For example, some subheadings I thought might be useful could be: vaccination, desexing, dog behaviour, dog intelligence, effects of dog ownership etc.

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Jigsaw   

Possible behavioural effects of exogenous corticosteroids on dog behavior: a preliminary investigation

Lorella Notari, Daniel Mills

Abstract

Glucocorticoids are widely used in veterinary medicine and their physical side effects are well-known; however, the effects on dog behavior linked to their role in the stress response and effects on mood have not been reported in previously published data. In this article, retrospective owner reports of the behavioral changes in dogs during corticosteroid therapy in a series of cases have been described so as to generate items for future use in a controlled structured questionnaire. The perceptions of behavioral changes in dogs during corticosteroid therapy were investigated through semi-structured open interviews of the owners of 31 dogs of different breeds, genders, and ages. All dogs had received corticosteroid therapies in the past 6 months. In all, 18 dogs had been administered methylprednisolone (dose range, 0.2-1 mg/kg), 8 were administered prednisolone (dose range, 0.2-1 mg/kg), and 5 were administered dexamethasone (dose range, 0.01-0.3). Methylprednisolone and prednisolone were used for dermatological conditions, and dexamethasone was used for orthopedic conditions. Owners were asked to describe their dog’s behaviors both on and off corticosteroid therapy. Interviews were ceased when answers became repetitive with no new reported behavioral change (interview to redundancy). In all, 11 owners reported behavioral changes in their dogs; 9 dogs were reported to show more than one behavioral change. Six dogs reportedly showed nervousness and/or restlessness, 3 showed an increase in startle responses, 3 showed food guarding, 2 showed a decrease in their activity level, 3 showed an increase in avoidance responses, 4 showed irritable aggression, and 2 dogs increased barking. Semi-structured interviews can be useful preliminary tools for the identification of areas of future investigation, and the outcomes of the interviews reported in this article will be used in further quantitative research, to investigate more rigorously the possible relationship between these signs and corticosteroid use in dogs.

http://www.journalvetbehavior.com/article/S1558-7878(11)00031-1/abstract?elsca1=etoc&elsca2=email&elsca3=1558-7878_201111_6_6&elsca4=elsevier

Edited by Jigsaw

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Jigsaw   

Can dogs (Canis familiaris) use a mirror to solve a problem?

Tiffani J. Howell, Pauleen C. Bennett

Abstract

The ability of animals to use a mirror, either as a problem-solving tool or for the purposes of self-recognition, has been tested in several species. However, there are no empirical reports of studies using mirrors with companion dogs, which differ from most animals in that they are from infancy often kept in complex environments containing many reflective surfaces, including household mirrors. We used a simple repeated measures design, with no pre-training, to test whether pet dogs (n = 40) understand the concept of reflection. Each dog accompanied their owner into a room containing a large covered mirror. They were given 1 minute to explore the room, following which the mirror was uncovered. After another minute of exploration, the dog was motivated to attend to the mirror by the owner. A second owner then appeared in an adjoining room displaying the dog’s favourite toy. The second owner stood behind the dog but could be seen in the reflective surface of the mirror. Dogs were more likely to attend to the mirror when the second owner was visible than when the owner was not visible in the mirror. Seven dogs turned away from the mirror to look toward the actual location of the owner. Of these, 2 then attended to the owner in the window more than the mirror. It is possible that these 2 dogs understood the real location of the owner and, therefore, the nature of reflection. However, none of these responses was completely unambiguous and most dogs tested showed no evidence of a capacity to spontaneously use the mirror to locate the second owner.

http://www.journalvetbehavior.com/article/S1558-7878(11)00039-6/abstract?elsca1=etoc&elsca2=email&elsca3=1558-7878_201111_6_6&elsca4=elsevier

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Jigsaw   

Growing old gracefully—Behavioral changes associated with “successful aging” in the dog, Canis familiaris

Hannah E. Salvin, Paul D. McGreevy, Perminder S. Sachdev, Michael J. Valenzuela

Abstract Full Text PDF Images References

Abstract

Aging is associated with behavioral and cognitive changes in all mammals. Unlike most clinical presentations, changes associated with aging do not always reflect an underlying pathology and therefore baselines for normality can be difficult to establish. Using data from a large cross-sectional survey of older dog owners, we aimed to identify normative behavioral changes associated with “successful aging” in dogs, and the rate of deterioration that could be expected over a 6-month period. Binary logistic regression identified significant age group effects from 18 items (difference in reported item incidence across age group: 4.5%-30.3%, P < 0.001-0.038). Significant age group effects on the percentage of dogs deteriorating over the preceding 6 months were evident in 21 items (difference in item deterioration across age group: 3.5%-25.7%, P < 0.001-0.033). The modal frequency of problem behaviors and abnormal ingestive or locomotory items was found to be low and the effect on memory and learning was minimal. Despite this, more than half of the items were reported to have shown a greater than 10% incidence of deterioration. In particular, activity and play levels, response to commands, and fears and phobias showed considerable deterioration. These findings represent the first steps toward the development of baseline values for normal behavioral changes in “successfully aging” dogs.

http://www.journalvetbehavior.com/article/S1558-7878(11)00062-1/abstract?elsca1=etoc&elsca2=email&elsca3=1558-7878_201111_6_6&elsca4=elsevier

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Jigsaw   

Physiological and behavioral effects of dextroamphetamine on Beagle dogs

Enid K. Stiles, Clara Palestrini, Guy Beauchamp, Diane Frank

Abstract Full Text PDF Images References

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to measure the effects of a dose of 0.2 mg/kg dextroamphetamine on body temperature, heart rate, motor activity, and associated behavior changes in Beagle dogs. Reliability of a collar-mounted accelerometer as an objective measure of motor activity was also investigated by comparing motor activity with that observed using video recordings. A total of 12 research colony Beagle dogs (13-20-months-old) served as their own control in this placebo-controlled crossover design, receiving both placebo and 0.2 mg/kg dextroamphetamine as treatment. Baseline and posttreatment values for body temperature, heart rate, and motor activity were obtained using a rectal temperature, heart rate monitor, and a collar-mounted accelerometer, respectively. Behavior sequences were filmed and analyzed. Repeated measures model indicated that dogs receiving a dose of 0.2 mg/kg dextroamphetamine had a significantly (P = 0.044) reduced heart rate as compared with placebo. There was no effect of treatment on the dogs’ body temperature, motor activity, or other behaviors such as “lip-licking,” “panting,” and “yawning.” There was a significant linear and positive relationship between the gross motor activity as measured by observational video and the accelerometer counts (P < 0.0001). Several behavioral textbooks used in clinical practice distinguish canine hyperactivity–hyperkinesis from overactivity by physiological and behavioral responses to amphetamines in a clinical setting. The authors of these textbooks suggest that true hyperactive–hyperkinetic dogs provided with oral amphetamines will paradoxically calm down, and have >15% reduction in heart rate. However, no data exist on the various effects of a low dose (0.2 mg/kg) of oral dextroamphetamine in dogs. The results of this study indicate that although as a group the medicated dogs showed a significantly lower heart rate than the placebo group, individual Beagle dogs showed variability in changes of heart rate. The use of the accelerometer in this study is a reliable tool for measuring motor activity in the dog.

http://www.journalvetbehavior.com/article/S1558-7878(11)00038-4/abstract?elsca1=etoc&elsca2=email&elsca3=1558-7878_201111_6_6&elsca4=elsevier

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