Behaviours and experiences as indicators for the result in a behavioural test for dogs

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Linköpings universitet/BiologiTekniska fakulteten


In 2005 Swedish Armed Forces (SAF) started a breeding program of military working dogs. The dogs leave SAF’s kennel at an age of 8 weeks and live with puppy raisers. To evaluate the suitability of dogs for military work the dogs conduct a behavioural test at an age of 15-18 months. An “Index value” is extracted from this behavioural test. The puppy raisers answered a modified version of Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire (C-BARQ) when the dogs were approximately 12 months old. Answered questionnaires and results from the behavioural test were obtained for 59 dogs. Dogs that had passed the behavioural test had tendency for higher scores for “Trainability” (p = 0.078) and “If lived with other animals” (p = 0.066). Failing dogs had significantly higher score for “Stranger Directed Fear” (p = 0.006), ”Non-Social Fear” (p = 0.005), “Dog Directed Fear” (p = 0.021), “Hours of daily activation” (p = 0.001), “Mounting objects” (p = 0.012), and a tendency for higher risk of “Urinating when home alone” (p = 0.058). In a regressions between the “Index value” and the values of the questions from C-BARQ, the “Index value” was negatively correlated to “Stranger Directed Fear” (p = 0.002), “Non-social Fear” (p = 0.003), and “Dog Directed Fear” (p = 0.006). The “Index value” was positively correlated to “Trainability” (p = 0.013), “Hours left home alone” (p=0.043), “Hyperactive” (p = 0.018), “Chases shadows/light spots” (p = 0.043), and a positive tendency for “Chewing on inappropriate objects” (p = 0.075). From a PCA at the categories in C-BARQ, 3 components were extracted. All three components had a correlation to the “Index value”. The results show that the use of C-BARQ can indicate whether the dog will pass the behavioural test or not.

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