Matching Items (25)

128070-Thumbnail Image.png

Structural variants in genes associated with human Williams-Beuren syndrome underlie stereotypical hypersociability in domestic dogs

Description

Although considerable progress has been made in understanding the genetic basis of morphologic traits (for example, body size and coat color) in dogs and wolves, the genetic basis of their

Although considerable progress has been made in understanding the genetic basis of morphologic traits (for example, body size and coat color) in dogs and wolves, the genetic basis of their behavioral divergence is poorly understood. An integrative approach using both behavioral and genetic data is required to understand the molecular underpinnings of the various behavioral characteristics associated with domestication. We analyze a 5-Mb genomic region on chromosome 6 previously found to be under positive selection in domestic dog breeds. Deletion of this region in humans is linked to Williams-Beuren syndrome (WBS), a multisystem congenital disorder characterized by hypersocial behavior. We associate quantitative data on behavioral phenotypes symptomatic of WBS in humans with structural changes in the WBS locus in dogs. We find that hypersociability, a central feature of WBS, is also a core element of domestication that distinguishes dogs from wolves. We provide evidence that structural variants in GTF2I and GTF2IRD1, genes previously implicated in the behavioral phenotype of patients with WBS and contained within the WBS locus, contribute to extreme sociability in dogs. This finding suggests that there are commonalities in the genetic architecture of WBS and canine tameness and that directional selection may have targeted a unique set of linked behavioral genes of large phenotypic effect, allowing for rapid behavioral divergence of dogs and wolves, facilitating coexistence with humans.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2017-07-19

128739-Thumbnail Image.png

What’s in a Name? Effect of Breed Perceptions & Labeling on Attractiveness, Adoptions & Length of Stay for Pit-Bull-Type Dogs

Description

Previous research has indicated that certain breeds of dogs stay longer in shelters than others. However, exactly how breed perception and identification influences potential adopters' decisions remains unclear. Current dog

Previous research has indicated that certain breeds of dogs stay longer in shelters than others. However, exactly how breed perception and identification influences potential adopters' decisions remains unclear. Current dog breed identification practices in animal shelters are often based upon information supplied by the relinquishing owner, or staff determination based on the dog's phenotype. However, discrepancies have been found between breed identification as typically assessed by welfare agencies and the outcome of DNA analysis. In Study 1, the perceived behavioral and adoptability characteristics of a pit-bull-type dog were compared with those of a Labrador Retriever and Border Collie. How the addition of a human handler influenced those perceptions was also assessed. In Study 2, lengths of stay and perceived attractiveness of dogs that were labeled as pit bull breeds were compared to dogs that were phenotypically similar but were labeled as another breed at an animal shelter. The latter dogs were called "lookalikes." In Study 3, we compared perceived attractiveness in video recordings of pit-bull-type dogs and lookalikes with and without breed labels. Lastly, data from an animal shelter that ceased applying breed labeling on kennels were analyzed, and lengths of stay and outcomes for all dog breeds, including pit bulls, before and after the change in labeling practice were compared. In total, these findings suggest that breed labeling influences potential adopters' perceptions and decision-making. Given the inherent complexity of breed assignment based on morphology coupled with negative breed perceptions, removing breed labels is a relatively low-cost strategy that will likely improve outcomes for dogs in animal shelters.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-03-23

128844-Thumbnail Image.png

In-Kennel Behavior Predicts Length of Stay in Shelter Dogs

Description

Previous empirical evaluations of training programs aimed at improving dog adoption rates assume that dogs exhibiting certain behaviors are more adoptable. However, no systematic data are available to indicate that

Previous empirical evaluations of training programs aimed at improving dog adoption rates assume that dogs exhibiting certain behaviors are more adoptable. However, no systematic data are available to indicate that the spontaneous behavior of shelter dogs has an effect on adopter preference. The aim of the present study was to determine whether any behaviors that dogs exhibit spontaneously in the presence of potential adopters were associated with the dogs' length of stay in the shelter. A sample of 289 dogs was videotaped for 1 min daily throughout their stay at a county shelter. To account for differences in adopter behavior, experimenters varied from solitary passive observers to pairs of interactive observers. Dogs behaved more attentively to active observers. To account for adopter preference for morphology, dogs were divided into “morphologically preferred” and “non-preferred” groups. Morphologically preferred dogs were small, long coated, ratters, herders, and lap dogs. No theoretically significant differences in behavior were observed between the two different dog morphologies. When accounting for morphological preference, three behaviors were found to have a significant effect on length of stay in all dogs: leaning or rubbing on the enclosure wall (increased median length of stay by 30 days), facing away from the front of the enclosure (increased by 15 days), and standing (increased by 7 days). When combinations of behaviors were assessed, back and forth motion was found to predict a longer stay (increased by 24 days). No consistent behavioral changes were observed due to time spent at the shelter. These findings will allow shelters to focus behavioral modification efforts only on behaviors likely to influence adopters' choices.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014-12-31

134782-Thumbnail Image.png

Dogs and Cognitive Dysfunction

Description

Alzheimer's disease affects a large number of Americans every year, and research on the causes and possible prevention continues to increase. Alzheimer's disease is a form of dementia that causes

Alzheimer's disease affects a large number of Americans every year, and research on the causes and possible prevention continues to increase. Alzheimer's disease is a form of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior and is thought to be caused by beta-amyloid plaques that form in the brain. In recent years, dogs have been used more and more as an animal model looking at Alzheimer's disease and cognitive dysfunction. Dogs serve as a reliable animal model because effected dogs naturally form the same beta-amyloid plaques that affected humans do as they age. Previous research has shown that older dogs perform worse on various memory tasks than do younger dogs, however researchers have struggled to find a test for dog cognitive dysfunction that is brief and can be performed in the home. The current study aimed to find a brief memory task that requires few materials, but is still reliable. The results of this study do not support the hypothesis that older dogs would perform worse than younger dogs if tested to find a treat with varying time delays of 15, 30, and 45 seconds. The results of this experiment showed a main effect of age (F = 8.40, d.f. 1, 19, p < 0.01) and delay (F = 15.14, d.f. 2, 30, p < 0.01), but age-delay interaction was not significant (F = 2.53, d.f. 2, 30, p = 0.09). Future studies should be performed using a larger sample size and this same protocol to attempt to raise the participation level of the dogs.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

135007-Thumbnail Image.png

A Micro Analysis of Response Trends in Dogs Working to Distinguish Odors of a Common Explosive Chemical

Description

In response to the growing prevalence of improvised explosive devices, a study was conducted that called into question the current methodology used to train explosive detection dogs. The study analyzed

In response to the growing prevalence of improvised explosive devices, a study was conducted that called into question the current methodology used to train explosive detection dogs. The study analyzed the effects of training these dogs using concept formation training versus standard pure training. It was hypothesized that dogs who received concept formation training would have a higher accuracy at generalizing to mixtures. The logic behind this hypothesis was that if a dog was trained elementally with pure samples, they would not be able to accurately recognize a diluted or modified version of the target Ammonium Nitrate scent. Group Elemental dogs had slightly higher accuracies during the concept testing portion of the study compared to the Group Concept dogs. Additionally, during the generalization phase of the experiment, the Group Elemental dogs performed equally well to the Group Concept dogs. Overall, concept formation training and elemental training were suggested to be equally effective according to the results of the dogs in this study. For the future, this experiment should be repeated with a larger sample size as it has great potential for giving insight on improving the training of explosive detection dogs.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

135020-Thumbnail Image.png

The Effect of Auditory Masking on the Behavioral Welfare of Shelter Dogs

Description

Dogs in animal shelters are subjected to a number of stressors during their stay, including barking which can reach 120 dB. Music has been suggested as a way to reduce

Dogs in animal shelters are subjected to a number of stressors during their stay, including barking which can reach 120 dB. Music has been suggested as a way to reduce this stress, however, the properties of music that result in reduced stress behavior have not been examined. An affective response to music, like that found in humans, is unlikely due to human higher cognitive function. Masking, reducing the magnitude of volume change with the presence of another sound, is one property that may be responsible for this observed stress reduction. Using white and pink noise, we examined the effects of auditory masking on stress behaviors in shelter dogs. Overall, we observed no difference in the amount of sitting, lying, head resting, or barking between the control and treatment conditions. Limitations and future directions of studies are listed.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

133962-Thumbnail Image.png

Reducing Fear in Canine Veterinary Appointments Through Fear Free Tactics

Description

In recent years, many strides have been taken to analyze dog (Canis lupus familiaris) fear behavior. Studies have found that in a veterinary setting, low posture behaviors in dogs are

In recent years, many strides have been taken to analyze dog (Canis lupus familiaris) fear behavior. Studies have found that in a veterinary setting, low posture behaviors in dogs are indicative of fear in the animal (Ortolani and Olh, 2014; Stanford, 1981). Other studies found that short term environmental stress can be measured through repetitive behaviors that are paired with high levels of urinary and salivary cortisol (Hiby et al., 2006; Hekma et al., 2012). In order to reduce these commonly seen fear behaviors, veterinarians can purchase the Fear Free Certification program that focuses on an animal's emotional well-being in a veterinary appointment. This study sought to quantify the differences in fear behaviors during veterinary appointments at a traditional veterinary hospital and a Fear Free certified veterinary hospital. The results show that there is a significant decrease in total head and tail fear behaviors at the Fear Free Certified hospital which suggests that the Fear Free certification does make a difference in a dog's emotional well-being at a veterinary appointment. This is important for the future of veterinary medicine to maintain happy clients and a safer work environment.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

133968-Thumbnail Image.png

Empathy and Pro-Human Social Behavior in Dogs: Will Dogs Attempt to Rescue a Person in Distress?

Description

There are many anecdotal stories of dogs rescuing their owners from dangerous situations, but this rescue behavior has yet to be shown in an experimental setting. Studies have shown that

There are many anecdotal stories of dogs rescuing their owners from dangerous situations, but this rescue behavior has yet to be shown in an experimental setting. Studies have shown that dogs behave differently towards crying humans, but do not seek help for their owners when they are in distress. This study sought to determine if a dog could recognize when its owner was in distress and would attempt to rescue the owner. The experiment consisted of three conditions: a distress condition to determine how dogs respond to an owner calling for help, a reading condition to control for proximity-seeking and sound, and a food control to use as a basis for motivation and door-opening ability of the dog. Sixty dogs were tested in all three conditions in a pseudo-random order so that an equal number of dogs completed the conditions in each order. 38% of the dogs opened the apparatus for any condition, while 32% opened for the food and distress conditions and 27% opened for the reading condition, which shows that rescue in general is unlikely. There was no significant difference in the proportion of dogs who opened the apparatus for each condition, indicating that dogs are no more likely to rescue their distressed owners than they are to open the apparatus for other conditions and may not be able to sense that the owner is in distress. The similarities in the success rates also show that the owner can be just as motivating for a dog as food. Overall, the low success rates suggest that dogs are not generally likely to rescue a person who is trapped, even when they are calling for help.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

134152-Thumbnail Image.png

The Effect of Inbreeding and Life History Traits on the Risk of Cancer Mortality in Dogs

Description

Due to artificial selection, dogs have high levels of phenotypic diversity, yet, there appears to be low genetic diversity within individual breeds. Through their domestication from wolves, dogs have gone

Due to artificial selection, dogs have high levels of phenotypic diversity, yet, there appears to be low genetic diversity within individual breeds. Through their domestication from wolves, dogs have gone through a series of population bottlenecks, which has resulted in a reduction in genetic diversity, with a large amount of linkage disequilibrium and the persistence of deleterious mutations. This has led to an increased susceptibility to a multitude of diseases, including cancer. To study the effects of artificial selection and life history characteristics on the risk of cancer mortality, we collected cancer mortality data from four studies as well as the percent of heterozygosity, body size, lifespan and breed group for 201 dog breeds. We also collected specific types of cancer breeds were susceptible to and compared the dog cancer mortality patterns to the patterns observed in other mammals. We found a relationship between cancer mortality rate and heterozygosity, body size, lifespan as well as breed group. Higher levels of heterozygosity were also associated with longer lifespan. These results indicate larger breeds, such as Irish Water Spaniels, Flat-coated Retrievers and Bernese Mountain Dogs, are more susceptible to cancer, with lower heterozygosity and lifespan. These breeds are also more susceptible to sarcomas, as opposed to carcinomas in smaller breeds, such as Miniature Pinschers, Chihuahuas, and Pekingese. Other mammals show that larger and long-lived animals have decreased cancer mortality, however, within dog breeds, the opposite relationship is observed. These relationships could be due to the trade-off between cellular maintenance and growing fast and large, with higher expression of growth factors, such as IGF-1. This study further demonstrates the relationships between cancer mortality, heterozygosity, and life history traits and exhibits dogs as an important model organism for understanding the relationship between genetics and health.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017-12

131207-Thumbnail Image.png

Part of the Pack: A Review of How Dogs Form Relationships with People

Description

Extensive research on the human mother-child relationship has led to the investigation of how relationships between dogs (Canis lupus var. familiaris) and humans compare. Studies suggest that dogs share a

Extensive research on the human mother-child relationship has led to the investigation of how relationships between dogs (Canis lupus var. familiaris) and humans compare. Studies suggest that dogs share a strong affectional bond with their owners and if put under stressful situations, exhibit key characteristics of attachment also observed in human babies. The goal of this review is to assess a variety of studies that explore different ways of measuring attachment between dogs and humans, beginning with a discussion of the Ainsworth Strange Situation Test (SST). The SST provides a foundation for the first studies that introduced attachment to the canine science field. It also aids in linking numerous attachment studies that look into different factors like the ages and physiology of the dogs, varying degrees of familiar people interacting with the dogs, owner-reported attitudes and behaviors, and the connection to wolves’ attachments with humans. I propose ways in which this particular scientific field can be enhanced and place a heavy emphasis on the implications of studying attachment particularly in shelter dogs. Synthesis and evaluation of the significant research on dog-human connections will not only lead to ways of fostering better relationships between owners and their dogs, but also allows us to better appreciate the special bond we have with dogs that lets us learn more every day.

Keywords: dog, attachment, human-animal interaction, animal shelter, dog behavior, preference
assessment

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05