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Heart rate and heart rate variability in school dogs

By Emilie M. Y. Bidoli, Michael H. Erhard, Dorothea Döring

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine whether the canine stress level was elevated during animal-assisted education by means of the Polar monitor V800 (Polar Electro Oy, Kempele, Finland), which recorded heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV). At 54 Bavarian schools with one working dog each, we attended one class for a single or double session. The dog was videotaped for subsequent behavior analysis, and real-time measurements of the RR intervals were transmitted by the Polar device to the data logger attached to the dog's collar. On average, the mean HR per dog was 87 ± standard deviation 19 beats per minute (bpm). When the dogs were grouped according to the behavior analysis, i.e., scores based on the occurrence of specified displacement behavior / appeasement behavior / signs of stress, inter alia, the "problematic" dogs (n = 25) showed significantly increased mean HR values compared to the "innocuous" dogs (n = 22). The highest mean HR values were recorded in the subgroup of "problematic" dogs during the first 10 min of the classes (107 ± 29 bpm, vs. "innocuous" dogs: 90 ± 22 bpm, p 

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 248
Pages 105574
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2022.105574
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Tags
  1. Animal welfare
  2. classroom pets
  3. Heart rate