Representations of human directed aggressive behaviour of dogs in Western countries versus Japan

Kikuchi, Mie (2019) Representations of human directed aggressive behaviour of dogs in Western countries versus Japan. PhD thesis, University of Lincoln.

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Representations of human directed aggressive behaviour of dogs in Western countries versus Japan
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Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
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Abstract

Human-directed aggressive behaviour is considered to be the most serious behaviour prob-lem of dogs worldwide as people are seriously hurt and the dog is often euthanized or aban-doned.
One important fundamental problem is that people may not perceive aggressive behaviour in dogs appropriately (based on scientific evidence). Therefore, it is argued that a motivation and emotion based consistent assessment for human-directed aggressive behaviour in dogs (HDAB) needs to be established. If there is no clear terminology for the description of ag-gressive behaviour in dogs, people may label a dog’s behaviour according to their own eval-uation, which may be affected by cultural difference such as belief, personality, and knowledge. No previous research has attempted to investigate which cultural differences influence peo-ple’s perception of HDAB. Therefore, the aim of this thesis explored the representation of people’s perception of HDAB in Western countries versus Japan in order to try to establish a consistent HDAB assessment frame work. In the initial review of the scientific literature and the popular media, there were inconsistent or limited descriptions for motivation and emotion of dogs, e.g., describing emotion as mostly fear and anxiety. In the study of the popular media, differences in the styles of presentation were found between English and Japanese language respondents. The UK me-dia presented information more as text rather than as photos or illustrations (low-context cul-ture), while the Japanese media used more photos or illustrations than text (high-context cul-ture). The style of presentation may affect people’s understanding and perception of HDAB differently.
The Internet survey and video assessment study were developed to identify people’s percep-tion of HDAB and which cultural factors influence people’s perception of HDAB. Both studies showed the respondents (particularly Japanese respondents) were less likely to recog-nise mild or subtle signs of dog’s behaviour and recognised limited dog’s emotions. As cul-tural factors, “nationality” and “level of handling experience with dogs” predicted strong ef-fect on people’s perception of HDAB. In order to develop a consistent systematic framework to assess HDAB, power point inter-vention material which described the assessment based on dog’s motivation and emotion was presented to the respondents. However, it did not have a significant effect on the partici-pants’ assessment of the dog’s emotion, which may be affected by the way of presentation without adjusting the level of people’s understanding or cultural factors, e.g., the role and value of dogs, handling experience.

This thesis demonstrates evidence that the lack of consensus for description of HDAB may influence people’s perception of HDAB and cultural differences affects people’s perception of HDAB. Therefore it is necessary to develop the consistent systematic framework for the assessment of HDAB based on dog’s motivation and emotion and convey to experts and dog owners through both scientific literature and popular media. It will enhance appropriate communication between owners and dogs.

ID Code:39865
Deposited On:22 Jan 2020 11:58

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