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A placebo-controlled study to investigate the effect of Dog Appeasing Pheromone and other environmental and management factors on the reports of disturbance and house soiling during the night in recently adopted puppies (Canis familiaris]

Taylor, Katy and Mills, Daniel S. (2007) A placebo-controlled study to investigate the effect of Dog Appeasing Pheromone and other environmental and management factors on the reports of disturbance and house soiling during the night in recently adopted puppies (Canis familiaris]. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 105 (4). pp. 358-368. ISSN 0168-1591

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2006.11.003

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Abstract

Disturbance and house soiling during the night are common problems faced by the new puppy dog owner. They may result as consequence of a mismatch between the developmental status of the puppy and its new environment and/or separation distress in a typically social animal. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of Dog Appeasing Pheromone (DAP, Ceva Santé Animale) as well as a range of other management and environmental factors that might affect this process. It has been suggested that DAP may help the puppy settle into the new home by continuing the provision of the maternal appeasing pheromone. In order to test this, a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of DAP was conducted with 60 pedigree puppies, aged between 6 and 10 weeks, as they entered their new home. A few days prior to the puppy's arrival, volunteer owners were supplied with either a verum or placebo plug-in diffuser designed for the slow release of the pheromone analogue over 4 weeks. Owners reported daily on disturbance and house soiling during the previous night over the following 8 weeks from the puppy's first night in the new home. The effect of the treatment together with the gender of the puppy, its maternal environment, the use of a puppy crate, sleeping with other dogs at night and the experience of the owner were included in a general linear model to explain the total number of nights spent disturbing and house soiling. Sleeping with another dog reduced the puppies' tendency to disturb at night to almost zero. Over 70 of puppies sleeping alone disturbed during the first night. The mean total number of nights of disturbance over the 2 months was between five and six nights, mostly in the first week in the home. A significant effect of DAP treatment was found in the case of the gundog breeds only (p = 0.003), gundogs receiving placebo cried for a median of nine nights, those receiving verum cried for a median of three nights. No effect of DAP treatment was observed on the total number of nights that the puppy soiled the house (p > 0.05). However, puppies that were placed in crates during the night (p = 0.004) or had come from domestic maternal environments (p = 0.006) had significantly fewer reports of house soiling over the first 2 months in the new home. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords:canid, environmental disturbance, environmental factor, environmental management, pheromone, vocalization, Animalia, Canis familiaris
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D300 Animal Science
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D328 Animal Welfare
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:9058
Deposited On:05 May 2013 10:15

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