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Differences in background and outcome of three behavior problems of dogs

By Y. Takeuchi, N. Ogata, K. A. Houpt, J. M. Scarlett

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In order to characterize the three major behaviour problems, aggression toward owners, aggression toward strangers and separation anxiety, backgrounds of dogs and general outcomes of the behavioural treatments were analyzed retrospectively. There were 169 cases of aggression toward owners, 84 cases of aggression toward strangers and 78 cases of separation anxiety which did not overlap each other during the 5 years from 1993 to 1997 at Cornell University Animal Behaviour Clinic. Based on the case records, including discharge instructions, follow-up information, and pre-presentation questionnaires, several variables were compared among these three groups. The sexual status of these groups was not statistically different, although dogs with aggression toward owners had the highest proportion of males and there were more males in all behaviour groups than in the hospital population. Also, breed types were different among three groups with a significantly higher proportion of mixed breed dogs among dogs with separation anxiety and aggression to strangers as compared to dogs with aggression to owners and to the hospital population. A higher percentage of dogs in the separation anxiety group tended to live in apartments and to be disciplined only verbally by the owner than in the other two groups. Age differences were apparent among the three groups in relation to when the dogs were obtained, and the separation anxiety group was different from at least one of the other groups in the age when first obtained, the age the owners first noticed the problem, and the age of behavioural examination. Regarding the general outcome of the behavioural treatment, there were no significant differences among the behavioural groups with regards to the proportion of dogs reported improved. These results provide new characterizations of these three major behaviour problems.

Date 2001
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 70
Issue 4
Pages 297-308
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/S0168-1591(00)00156-8
Author Address Laboratory of Veterinary Ethology, The University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8657, Japan.
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Abnormal behavior
  2. Age
  3. Aggression
  4. Animal behavior
  5. Animal roles
  6. Anxiety
  7. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  8. Breed differences
  9. Carnivores
  10. Developed countries
  11. Deviant behavior
  12. Dogs
  13. Mammals
  14. New York
  15. North America
  16. OECD countries
  17. Pets and companion animals
  18. sex differences
  19. United States of America