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Are cognitive skills good indicators of welfare in shelter dogs?


Viggiano, Emanuela; Marshall-Pescini, Sarah; Petak, Irena; Prato-Previde, Emanuela; Natoli, Eugenia; Valsecchi, Paola
Are cognitive skills good indicators of welfare in shelter dogs? // Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, Volume 4, Issue 2 / Overall, Karen L. (ur.).
Budimpešta, Mađarska: Elsevier Inc., 2009. str. 79-79 (poster, međunarodna recenzija, sažetak, znanstveni)


Naslov
Are cognitive skills good indicators of welfare in shelter dogs?

Autori
Viggiano, Emanuela ; Marshall-Pescini, Sarah ; Petak, Irena ; Prato-Previde, Emanuela ; Natoli, Eugenia ; Valsecchi, Paola

Vrsta, podvrsta i kategorija rada
Sažeci sa skupova, sažetak, znanstveni

Izvornik
Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, Volume 4, Issue 2 / Overall, Karen L. - : Elsevier Inc., 2009, 79-79

Skup
Canine Science Forum

Mjesto i datum
Budimpešta, Mađarska, 05-09. 07. 2008

Vrsta sudjelovanja
Poster

Vrsta recenzije
Međunarodna recenzija

Ključne riječi
Dog; shelter; housing conditions; food choice task; human– dog relationship

Sažetak
Recent studies have shown that dogs possess many sophisticated cognitive skills. Can these skills be used as welfare indicators in shelter dogs? The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of different contexts on dogs’ cognitive skills and on the human– dog relationship (Prato-Previde et al., 2008). The study was carried out in 2 shelters (in Rome and Parma) with differing management policies. In the Rome shelter, dogs live singly or in groups, are never taken out of their kennels, and they have minimal contact with humans. In the Parma shelter, dogs live in groups, are taken out daily, and have regular contact with humans. Pet dogs also were tested as a control group. Seventy-eight shelter dogs, 39 in Rome (19 housed singly, 20 in group housing), 39 in Parma, and 50 pet dogs were tested in a food choice task. The test consisted of 3 conditions: Condition 1 was a free-choice task of selection between a large and a small food quantity ; in Condition 2, there was the same choice, but the researcher showed a preference for the small quantity choice ; and in Condition 3, the choice was between 2 equally small quantities of food with the researcher showing a preference for one. A comparison between the Parma and the Rome shelter dogs revealed that in Condition 2 (Mann-Whitney test: z = 2.3 ; P = 0.018) and in Condition 3 (Mann-Whitney test: z = -2.627 ; P = 0.009), the researcher influenced significantly more of the choices made by the dogs from the Parma shelter. Comparing the performance between the 3 situations (single vs group vs family housing), in Condition 1 dogs living in groups and dogs living in the enriched family environment chose significantly more often the larger quantity of food than dogs living in single housing (Mann-Whitney test, alone vs in group: z = -2.67 ; P = 0.008 ; alone vs enriched z = -2.158 ; P = 0.03). There was no significant difference between the performance of group-housed dogs vs pet dogs. Considering all dogs, the length of their permanence at the shelter had no influence on the dogs’ performance in the task. Dogs tested in the 3 different housing conditions were also compared to pet dogs ; dogs in the enriched environment were more influenced by the researcher in their choice and they followed the person's “ suggestion” even if disadvantageous for them. Dogs housed alone showed impaired cognitive performance in the pure quantity discrimination task, whereas dogs with regular contact with conspecifics and/or humans did not differ from one another. Thus, overall, intra- and interspecific social deprivation seems to have a negative influence on dogs’ cognitive skills. Furthermore, the quality of life in the shelter and not the duration of stay seems to influence dogs’ cognitive skills.

Izvorni jezik
Engleski

Znanstvena područja
Biologija, Veterinarska medicina, Psihologija



POVEZANOST RADA


Projekt / tema
053-0532266-2220 - Odgovor akutne faze i aktivnost plazmatskih sustava u babeziozi (Vladimir Mrljak, )

Ustanove
Veterinarski fakultet, Zagreb

Autor s matičnim brojem:
Irena Petak, (264562)