The physiological function of oxytocin in humans and its acute response to human-dog interactions: A review of the literature

Oxytocin is increasingly recognized to have a role in human-dog bonding and interactions and a positive influence on various health outcomes including cardiovascular function and stress reactivity. This review summarizes current research investigating human-dog interactions and endogenous oxytocin to highlight the potentially beneficial role of oxytocin within human-dog relationships and overall human health. We discuss […]

Obedience training effects on search dog performance

Competent search dogs should be accurate, reliable, and work independently, yet be responsive to handler commands. The aim of this study was to identify training factors that contribute to producing competent search dogs. Demographics, obedience training methods, the age training was initiated, previous canine training experience of the trainer, and time spent training were determined […]

Causes of loss or retirement from active duty for New Zealand police German shepherd dogs

The aim of this study was to determine the causes of loss from active duty amongst German shepherd dogs in service with the New Zealand Police Dog Section. Current or previous police dog handlers (n = 149) completed a postal survey for each dog they had worked with during their career including their current dog. […]

I like my dog, does my dog like me?

In this study, the possibility of there being an association between how an owner perceives his/her relationship to their dog and the way the dog experiences the relationship to its owner was investigated using two well-established methods within the anthrozoology literature. Twenty dog–owner dyads participated in the Strange Situation Procedure (SSP), to evaluate the bond […]

Human–animal interface: The effects of handler’s stress on the performance of canines in an explosive detection task

The handler–dog interaction is significantly important for the canine performance. The handler error may mislead the dog into false identification, and the probability to commit such an error is altered often by the handlers’ stressful state. In the current study we have focused on stress characteristics and the handler–dog interface effects on the canine detection […]

Investigating canine personality structure using owner questionnaires measuring pet dog behaviour and personality

Questionnaire-based personality and behavioural assessments for domestic dogs are widely used by professional dog handlers, researchers and those working in welfare. In order for behaviour tests to provide accurate, useful information about the future behaviour of test subjects, they need to reflect aspects of personality despite the limited context and time in which they are […]

Validity and reliability of cardiac measures during behavioural tests in pet dogs at home

Behavioural tests are often used to describe dogs’ responses to a variety of stimuli. However, the expressed behaviours do not always give an accurate indication of the dogs’ mental state. Cardiac measures can be recorded in parallel to the behavioural test to provide additional information about arousal level. Heart rate (HR) reflects the combination of […]

Assessing stress in dogs during a visit to the veterinary clinic: Correlations between dog behavior in standardized tests and assessments by veterinary staff and owners

A visit to a veterinary clinic can be very stressful for the dog, and stress may interact with pain. The aim of this study was to observe the behavior of dogs in a veterinary clinic and to correlate it with subjective stress assessments by different persons. Systems have already been developed to assess pain in […]

Efficacy of a Probiotic-Prebiotic Supplement on Incidence of Diarrhea in a Dog Shelter: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial

Background: Diarrhea is the most frequent morbidity affecting kenneled dogs in animal shelters. Diarrhea impacts animal welfare and the finances of the shelter as they must treat, clean, and house affected animals until recovered. Hypothesis/Objectives: Supplementing dogs entering an animal shelter with a probiotic-prebiotic, known as a synbiotic, will decrease the incidence of diarrhea. Animals: […]

Emotional affect and the occurrence of owner reported health problems in the domestic dog

Interactions between health, behaviour and individual differences such as; mood, affect or personality have been studied more in humans than they have in non-human animals. In humans, links can be made between personality and the expression of health problems, and between personality, affect, coping, treatment and recovery success. Previous research with animals has shown that […]