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Test for personality characteristics in dogs used in research
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience.
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2012 (English)In: Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, ISSN 1558-7878, Vol. 7, no 6, 327-338 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The great variation in morphological phenotypes displayed by dogs offers not only excellent opportunities for genetic analyses but also a challenge regarding between-breed and even within-breed variation. Also, behavioral responses may vary between individuals, and are to be taken into account in experimental situations. To our knowledge, no standardized test for scoring personality characteristics (TFPC) in dogs maintained for research under controlled conditions has yet been developed. The present article describes a protocol consisting of 9 test situations that are likely to arise in experimental contexts. The intent was to establish an easy-to-use standardized test protocol. Sixteen beagles were used, all housed in constant and controlled conditions. The results revealed considerable individual differences in response to certain stimuli. The largest within-group variation was found when being caged; the responses varied from passivity to escape attempts (score range: 2-5 in a 5-step scale). Substantial variation was also seen in locomotion and food consumption after exposure to stress (score range: 1-5 in a 5-step scale). In a new environment, the females showed more frequent changes in attention (focusing) compared with males (P < 0.01). There was an age-related reaction to sudden sounds (Spearman r sp = -0.52, P < 0.05). We also describe application of the TFPC to a study of food intake in response to pancreatic polypeptide performed with 6 of the male dogs. A within-group rank-order procedure was used, and interesting correlations between personality characteristics and food intake behavior were identified. We discuss how the TFPC may contribute to improvement of experimental studies in dogs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 7, no 6, 327-338 p.
Keyword [en]
Behavior, Dog, Food intake, Personality, Refinement, Canis familiaris
National Category
Agricultural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-186007DOI: 10.1016/j.jveb.2012.01.007ISI: 000310941800002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-186007DiVA: diva2:572697
Available from: 2012-11-28 Created: 2012-11-27 Last updated: 2013-01-07Bibliographically approved

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Larhammar, DanMeyerson, Bengt
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