Dogs showing separation-related behaviour exhibit a 'pessimistic' cognitive bias

Mendl, Michael and Brooks, Julie and Basse, Christine and Burman, Oliver and Paul, Elizabeth and Blackwell, Emily and Casey, Rachel (2010) Dogs showing separation-related behaviour exhibit a 'pessimistic' cognitive bias. Current Biology, 20 (19). R839-R840. ISSN 0960-9822

Documents
Dogs showing separation-related behaviour exhibit a 'pessimistic' cognitive bias
[img]
[Download]
Request a copy
[img] PDF
final_copy_as_published_in_current_biology.pdf - Whole Document
Restricted to Repository staff only

139kB

Full text URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2010.08.030

Abstract

Up to five million pet dogs in the UK (50% of the population) may, at some stage of their lives, perform undesirable separation-related behaviour (SRB) when left home alone [1], including vocalising, destruction and toileting [2]. Some owners perceive their dog to be fine or even happy when performing SRB [3], a few seek professional help [1], and others relinquish the dog [4]. Given the magnitude of the issue and the varied perceptions and behaviour of owners, the underlying emotional (affective) states of dogs showing SRB, and hence their welfare, requires elucidation. Whilst most dogs are believed to be anxious when showing SRB [1,2], it is uncertain whether their background affective state (mood) when they are not separated is also negative [1]. Here we use a new cognitive bias measure of animal affect to show that dogs which exhibit high levels of SRB in a separation test also appear to have a more negative underlying mood.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Emotion, Cognition, Separation-related behaviour, Dog
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C120 Behavioural Biology
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D328 Animal Welfare
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:3512
Deposited By: Oliver Burman
Deposited On:22 Oct 2010 09:07
Last Modified:04 Dec 2013 15:07

Repository Staff Only: item control page