Rating Methodology, Personality Axes, and Behavioral Plasticity: A Case Study in African Lions

Animal personality refers to individual differences in behavior that are consistent across time and across contexts. As it plays an ecological and evolutionary role for many animals by affecting fitness, it is likely to play a role in how both species and individuals fare in captivity. Assessment of animal personality by caretaker ratings has been […]

Animal Welfare: Could Adult Play be a False Friend?

There is no consensus regarding the functions of play. As play behavior is a characteristic of young stages of development, it has been suggested that the higher prevalence of adult play observed in domestic animals could be the result of their “neotenic retardation.” Functional hypotheses have dealt with the long term benefits, such as “rehearsal,” […]

Maternal-Neonatal Pheromone/Interomone Added to Cat Litter Improves Litter Box Use and Reduces Aggression in Pair-Housed Cats

Introducing a new cat into a household with one or more resident cats can be a significant source of stress for the cats involved. These studies sought to determine if rabbit maternal-neonatal pheromone (2-methyl-2-butenal [2M2B]) in litter impacted cat social behaviors and litter box use. Study 1 determined that cats preferred to eliminate in litter […]

Behavioral and endocrine correlates of dominance in captive female Jackson’s hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus)

For species that form dominance hierarchies, such as group-living ungulates, aggressive interactions can pose a challenge to successful captive management. For example, Jackson’s hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus), a rare antelope of east Africa, can be difficult to maintain in captivity because aggression within female dominance hierarchies can lead to injury and death. We quantified behavioral and […]

Effects of parity and litter size on cortisol measures in commercially housed sows and their offspring

Breeding sows are regularly exposed to on-farm stressors throughout the duration of their production period. The impact of such stressors may differ for primi- and multiparous sows, as sows could learn to cope with stressors as they gain experience with them. If parity affects stress in sows, it may also impact their prenatal offspring through […]

Dietary-induced modulation of the hindgut microbiota is related to behavioral responses during stressful events in horses

The bidirectional communication between the central and the enteric nervous system named the gut-brain axis has been widely recognized. The gut microbiota has been implicated in a variety of stress-related conditions including anxiety, depression and irritable bowel syndrome based on rodent studies or correlative analysis in human patients. The aim of the present study was […]

Time constraints imposed by anthropogenic environments alter social behaviour in longtailed macaques

Humans and their associated anthropogenic factors may strongly affect the demographics, activity and fragmentation of wild animal populations. Yet, the degree and nature of such impact on indicators of animals’ social relationships remain largely under-investigated, despite the well-documented importance of strong social ties for an individual’s health and fitness. Here, we examined whether interactions with […]

Differences in stress and happiness between owners who perceive their dogs as well behaved or poorly behaved when they are left alone

This study was performed to identify differences between a group of 36 dog owners who reported separation-related behavioral problems in their dogs and a group of 40 dog owners who perceived their dogs as well behaved in their absence. The variables compared between these groups were attachment, trainability, human-dog relationship, owner-dog compatibility, happiness, and stress. […]

Cardiac activity and salivary cortisol concentration of leisure horses in response to the presence of an audience in the arena

The aim of this study was to determine the influence of different forms of an audience’s behavior on the heart work parameters and salivary cortisol level of leisure horses during work. Twelve horses were studied at rest, during standardized work, and at recovery. There was no audience in the arena in the control variant, whereas […]

Zylkéne to load? The effects of alpha-casozepine on compliance and coping in horses during loading

Horses are routinely transported for access to safe off-road riding, veterinary care, breeding, sale, or moving to a new home environment. However, transport is a known stressor in horses. For this reason, problem behavior when loading is a commonly reported issue, which presents risks to handlers and horse welfare. Existing literature and manufacturers’ recommendations suggests […]