Introduction Kennel facilities are commonly acknowledged as a stressful environment for many domestic dogs (Canis familiaris). One therapeutic measure used to reduce anxiety in dogs is dog appeasing pheromone (DAP), which has been found effective in reducing stress-related behaviours in a number of contexts.
Aims and Objectives A pilot study was conducted to assess whether DAP would reduce frequency of stress-related behaviours in a group of eight dogs housed for teaching purposes in a long-term kennelling facility.
Materials and Methods Using video analysis, proportion of time spent in stress-related behaviours for six dogs fitted with DAP collars, versus two control dogs (without collars), was compared for the time before and during DAP exposure.
Results No significant differences were found either in the proportion of time spent in stress-related behaviours in the baseline versus treatment periods or between the collared and control dogs in the change in proportion of time they spent in any of the focal behaviours in the baseline versus treatment periods.
Conclusions Possible reasons for these findings include an actual lack of effect of DAP on dogs housed in this long-term kennelling facility, an apparent lack of effect due to small sample size in this pilot study and high behavioural variation among individual dogs. Despite lack of a demonstrated effect of the DAP collars on these dogs, attention brought by this study to the behavioural issues seen in some of the dogs did have a positive impact, as it contributed to the development of an active, coordinated behavioural wellness and enrichment programme for the colony.
- Companion animals
- Pheromone treatment
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