The HABRI Foundation is calling for research proposals to investigate the health outcomes of pet ownership and/or animal-assisted activity or therapy, both for the people and the animals involved. To learn more, visit https://habri.org/grants/funding-opportunities/ close

 
You are here: Home / Journal Articles / Effect of a stimulating environment during the socialization period on the performance of adult police working dogs / About

Effect of a stimulating environment during the socialization period on the performance of adult police working dogs

By B. Lopes, J. Alves, A. Santos, G. da G. Pereira

View Resource (HTM)

Licensed under

Category Journal Articles
Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine if using a stimulating enrichment park environment during the socialization period of police working dogs improved social skills. Our intent was to learn whether such exposure could maximize working dog performance in future situations as adults. Six animals, with the same male progenitor, were divided in 2 groups. G1 dogs underwent the standard socialization protocol in use in the Grupo de Intervencao Cinotecnico. G2 dogs were exposed to an enriched park, in addition to the standard socialization protocol. As young adults, these animals were tested in 7 distinct situations. Their performance was graded according to their response in overcoming obstacles. Cortisol levels were measured before and after the test in both groups and used as an indicator of stress. The cortisol values measured in this study suggest that an exposure to an enrichment park could potentially lead to less stressed adult dogs, although no significant differences were found between the dogs that were exposed to the park and those that were not. The absence of such differences may be because of the focal nature of the sample. Nevertheless, exposed dogs showed lower levels of cortisol when facing the obstacles posed to them. Although no significant differences were found between the 2 groups of animals, the sample size was extremely small, and there may have been a tendency for those that were exposed to the park to achieve better scores and lower cortisol levels. This study may set the foundations for further research to better access the benefits of using an enriched environment in the training of dogs, in particular those submitted to work as police dogs.

Publication Title Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research
Volume 10
Issue 3
Pages 199-203
ISBN/ISSN 1558-7878
DOI 10.1016/j.jveb.2015.01.002
Language English
Author Address Grupo de Intervencao Cinotecnico, Unidade de Intervencao, Guarda Nacional Republicana, Rua Jacinta Marto no 5, 1169-091 Lisbon, Portugal.lopes.bei@gnr.pt
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Tags
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animals
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Canidae
  5. Canine
  6. Carnivores
  7. Dogs
  8. Enrichment
  9. Hydrocortisone
  10. Mammals
  11. peer-reviewed
  12. samples
  13. training
  14. vertebrates
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed