Navigation Links
If you're aggressive, your dog will be too, says veterinary study at University of Pennsylvania
Date:2/17/2009

PHILADELPHIA - In a new, year-long University of Pennsylvania survey of dog owners who use confrontational or aversive methods to train aggressive pets, veterinary researchers have found that most of these animals will continue to be aggressive unless training techniques are modified.

The study, published in the current issue of Applied Animal Behavior Science, also showed that using non-aversive or neutral training methods such as additional exercise or rewards elicited very few aggressive responses.

"Nationwide, the No. 1 reason why dog owners take their pet to a veterinary behaviorist is to manage aggressive behavior," Meghan E. Herron, lead author of the study, said. "Our study demonstrated that many confrontational training methods, whether staring down dogs, striking them or intimidating them with physical manipulation does little to correct improper behavior and can elicit aggressive responses."

The team from the School of Veterinary Medicine at Penn suggest that primary-care veterinarians advise owners of the risks associated with such training methods and provide guidance and resources for safe management of behavior problems.

Herron, Frances S. Shofer and Ilana R. Reisner, veterinarians with the Department of Clinical Studies at Penn Vet, produced a 30-item survey for dog owners who made behavioral service appointments at Penn Vet. In the questionnaire, dog owners were asked how they had previously treated aggressive behavior, whether there was a positive, negative or neutral effect on the dogs' behavior and whether aggressive responses resulted from the method they used. Owners were also asked where they learned of the training technique they employed.

Of the 140 surveys completed, the most frequently listed recommendation sources were "self" and "trainers." Several confrontational methods such as "hit or kick dog for undesirable behavior" (43 percent), "growl at dog" (41 percent), "physically force the release of an item from a dog's mouth" (39 percent), "alpha roll"physically -- rolling the dog onto its back and holding it (31 percent), "stare at or stare down" (30 percent), "dominance down" - physically forcing the dog down onto its side (29 percent) and "grab dog by jowls and shake" (26 percent) elicited an aggressive response from at least 25 percent of the dogs on which they were attempted. In addition, dogs brought to the hospital for aggressive behavior towards familiar people were more likely to respond aggressively to some confrontational techniques than dogs brought in for other behavioral reasons.

"This study highlights the risk of dominance-based training, which has been made popular by TV, books and punishment-based training advocates,"Herron said. "These techniques are fear-eliciting and may lead to owner-directed aggression."

Prior to seeking the counsel of a veterinary behaviorist, many dog owners attempt behavior-modification techniques suggested by a variety of sources. Recommendations often include the aversive-training techniques listed in the survey, all of which may provoke fearful or defensively aggressive behavior. Their common use may have grown from the idea that canine aggression is rooted in the need for social dominance or to a lack of dominance displayed by the owner. Advocates of this theory therefore suggest owners establish an "alpha" or pack-leader role.

The purpose of the Penn Vet study was to assess the behavioral effects and safety risks of techniques used historically by owners of dogs with behavior problems.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jordan Reese
jreese@upenn.edu
215-573-6604
University of Pennsylvania
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. The exotic side of veterinary science
2. Veterinary college researchers explore function of biofilm in bovine respiratory disease
3. Veterinary college researcher studying brain tumors in people and animals
4. K-State Veterinary Lab routinely tests for bluetongue virus
5. Penn Veterinary Medicine report new strategy to create genetically-modified animals
6. Scientists study full protein content of bakers yeast
7. Village bird study highlights loss of wildlife knowledge from one
8. Y chromosome and surname study challenges infidelity myth
9. Study: Fluid buildup in lungs is part of the damage done by the flu
10. Study says middle class coral reef fish feel the economic squeeze
11. Shades of 1918? New study compares avian flu with a notorious killer from the past
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/15/2016)... , Nov. 15, 2016  Synthetic Biologics, Inc. ... therapeutics focused on the gut microbiome, today announced ... 25,000,000 shares of its common stock and warrants ... at a price to the public of $1.00 ... Synthetic Biologics from the offering, excluding the proceeds, ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016  The American College of Medical ... Show Executive Magazine as one of the fastest-growing trade ... 25-27 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas ... highest percentage of growth in each of the following categories: ... companies and number of attendees. The 2015 ACMG Annual Meeting ...
(Date:6/16/2016)... FRANCISCO , June 16, 2016 ... size is expected to reach USD 1.83 ... by Grand View Research, Inc. Technological proliferation and ... banking applications are expected to drive the market ... ) , The development of advanced ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/5/2016)... 2016 According to the ... Products (Consumable, Instruments, Automated Cell Expansion System), Cells ... Cell Research, Cancer, and Cell-Based Research), End-users (Biopharmaceutical ... Global Revenue, Trends, Growth, Share, Size and Forecast ... global cell expansion market is expected to reach ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. , Dec. 5, 2016 ... its Phase 3 open-label two-year study of rufinamide, ... of the American Epilepsy Society (AES) held from ... . Analysis of final two-year safety, tolerability and ... therapy with rufinamide experienced similar safety and tolerability ...
(Date:12/4/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 03, 2016 , ... ... ground-breaking microbiome studies. A microbiome impact grant award has been made to Dr. ... of heavy smoking and drinking on the oral microbiome. Grant proposals have been ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... 2016 More than $4.3 million was raised last ... DHMD ). The gala was held at the American Museum ... and honored Alan Alda and ... and medicine and the public understanding of science. Since the ... event has raised $40 million for the Laboratory,s research and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: