Fysiologi och beteende hos golden retriever i hemmiljö och under en testsituation

University essay from SLU/Dept. of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry

Abstract: To fit into our society the dogs of today need a good mentality. To investigate their mentalitydifferent behavior tests have been developed. The tests are useful tools in the selection ofbreeding animals as well as for working and companion dogs. To counter the demand for atest that could be suited for all kind of dogs, regardless of their future function, the mentalitytest Beteende- och personlighetsbeskrivning hund (BPH) was developed. BPH consists ofseven subtests that expose dogs to various situations that can be found in everyday life, suchas meeting an unfamiliar person, sudden noises and suddenly appearing objects.The aim of this study was to find out if there are differences in physiological values betweenindividuals, validate the behavior observations during BPH and get aware of how the dogsexperience the situation. This was done by analyzing the physiological variables heart rateand urinary concentrations of adrenaline, noradrenaline, cortisol, testosterone and serotonin innine male dogs of the breed Golden Retriever. The measurements were carried out at homeand before, during and after BPH. The heart rate was measured with a heart rate monitorattached to the dogs during BPH and the following day and night. The concentrations ofhormones (hormone/creatinine ratio) were analyzed in seven naturally voided urine samplesfrom each dog.Individual differences between the dogs were found in this study. The differences were largerduring the test compared to the home environment, which indicates that some individualswere more affected by the test than others. The heart rate increased during the test but did notexceed the maximum value at home. This indicates that the test causes no strain that cannot befound in everyday life. The concentration of adrenalin was significant higher during the testcompared with home. Noradrenalin increased significantly at the end of the test. Cortisoltended to be higher during the test and the concentration of testosteron was significant higherduring the last part of the test. For serotonin no significant differences were found betweenthe urine samples but individual differences between dogs were found. The results also showassociations between hormone concentrations in urine and different behaviors in dogs. Thecorrelation analysis indicated that dogs with higher amount of serotonin in the urine reactedmore defensive compared to the dogs with lower urinary serotonin that instead appeared to bemore offensive in their reactions. Individuals with higher amounts of serotonin tended to bemore active than dogs with lower concentrations, the dogs with higher amount of cortisoltended to overcome surprising situations faster than dogs with lower concentrations.In conclusion, associations between physiological values and behavior in dogs were found inthis study. Further research in this area may be of interest and could be useful in the futuresince more knowledge about how hormones and behavior interact might enable earlyprediction of which dogs that are appropriate for a specific task.

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