The aim of this study was to establish expected average parameters for barking in normal suburban dogs in New Zealand (defined as dogs with no history of problem or nuisance barking) that are left alone for 8 hours during the day, with indoor/outdoor access, and are walked daily. Parameters evaluated over the 8-hour period were the average number of barking episodes, average length of each episode, and average total amount of barking (in seconds). The effects of age and sex on these parameters were assessed. Clients from 2 different Auckland veterinary practices were offered the opportunity to participate in the study (n=60). Participants were provided with a voice-operated tape recorder (Sony M-200MC Microcassette Recorder) and a written instruction sheet. They recorded their dogs daily over 8 hours for 5 days. Data were then recorded onto a spreadsheet by the investigator, and averages were evaluated using the Windows XLS system. Further analysis was done using the PASW 18 statistical analysis system. Box plots were constructed to evaluate variation between and within dogs. On average, dogs barked between 4 and 5 times over 8 hours. The average length of each episode was 30 seconds, and the average total amount of barking in 8 hours was 129 seconds. Younger dogs (younger than 5 years) tended to bark more frequently than older dogs. These parameters provide a baseline against which barking complaints may be measured.
|Publication Title||Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research|
|Author Address||Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.firstname.lastname@example.org|
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