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Emotions in dogs being petted by a familiar or unfamiliar person: validating behavioural indicators of emotional states using heart rate variability

By F. Kuhne, J. C. Hossler, R. Struwe

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Abstract

Although physical human-dog interactions have an important influence on the human-dog relationship, few studies have proposed the key factors of physical human-dog contact affecting the well-being of dogs. Therefore, our aim was to investigate the effect of physical human-dog contact on the behaviour and cardiac activity of dogs. Thereby, we focused on the human-dog familiarity and the body area petted. The participating nine male and 15 female dogs were either familiar (familiar group) or unfamiliar (unfamiliar group) with the test person. The testing procedure consisted of nine physical human-dog interactions applied in a random order, e.g. petting and holding the lying dog on the ground, holding a forepaw of the dog, petting the dog on its shoulder, and covering the dog's muzzle with one hand. The dogs were petted in a prescribed manner. A test sequence lasted for 30 s and the inter-test sequence interval was set at 60 s. The whole testing procedure was videotaped and the frequency and duration of the dogs' behavioural responses were analysed. For the non-invasive real-time measurement of heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) the RS 810 Polar-Systems was applied on the dog's chest. The mean HR ( F1,197=15.32, P

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 161
Pages 113-120
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
Publisher Elsevier
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2014.09.020
Language English
Author Address Animal Welfare and Ethology, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Frankfurter Str. 104, D-35392 Giessen, Germany.franziska.kuhne@vetmed.uni-giessen.de
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Tags
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal physiology
  3. Animals
  4. Animal science
  5. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  6. Canidae
  7. Canine
  8. Carnivores
  9. Dogs
  10. Effect
  11. Emotions
  12. Head
  13. Heart
  14. Heart rate
  15. Humans
  16. Indicators
  17. Interactions
  18. Mammals
  19. Men
  20. peer-reviewed
  21. Pets and companion animals
  22. Physiology and biochemistry
  23. Primates
  24. Relationships
  25. Research
  26. Social psychology and social anthropology
  27. tests
  28. thorax
  29. vertebrates
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed