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Owner attachment and problem behaviors related to relinquishment and training techniques of dogs

By J. Y. Kwan, M. J. Bain

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Abstract

Problematic behaviors are a significant reason for relinquishment, and relinquished dogs are more likely to have problem behaviors. This study utilized standardized surveys of owners (companion animal guardians) relinquishing their dogs to shelters and dog owners visiting vaccination clinics. "Relinquishing" and "continuing" owners were asked questions in the following categories: demographic information, training methods and tools, frequencies in which their dogs engaged in problematic behaviors, and attachment to their dogs. "Relinquishers" were also asked to provide their reasons for relinquishment. The results of 129 surveys (80 relinquishing and 49 continuing) showed that relinquishers scored lower on companion animal attachment than continuing owners. Pit bull-type dogs were represented more in the relinquishing group. Relinquished dogs were no less likely to have attended training classes than continuing dogs. In both groups, owners who used punishment-based collars reported less satisfaction with their dogs' overall and leash-walking behaviors. Pit bull-type dogs were reported to be no less well behaved compared with all other breeds combined. Sixty-five percent of relinquishers reported some behavioral reason for relinquishment. Forty-eight percent of relinquishers indicated that at least 1 problem behavior was a strong influence on their decision to relinquish.

Publication Title Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume 16
Issue 2
Pages 168-183
ISBN/ISSN 1088-8705
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1080/10888705.2013.768923
Language English
Author Address School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, 1 Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA.mjbain@ucdavis.edu
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Tags
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal rights
  3. Animals
  4. Animal welfare
  5. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  6. Canidae
  7. Canine
  8. Carnivores
  9. Demography
  10. Dogs
  11. Education
  12. Health centers
  13. Health services
  14. Mammals
  15. peer-reviewed
  16. Pets and companion animals
  17. Resistance and Immunity
  18. shelters
  19. surveys
  20. Techniques
  21. training
  22. vaccination
  23. vertebrates
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed