CAPB

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  • February 3, 2016
  • 08:30 AM
  • 52 views

Homeless Youth With Pets Are Less Depressed Than Those Without

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

A survey of homeless youth finds that pets bring benefits – and difficulties.23% of homeless youth have pets, according to research by Harmony Rhoades et al (University of Southern California). The team surveyed 398 homeless youth at two drop-in centres in Los Angeles. While previous studies have shown that pets can be very important to homeless young people, this is the first quantitative study to look at pet ownership, mental health, and the use of services amongst this group.88% of the youn........ Read more »

  • January 27, 2016
  • 08:30 AM
  • 103 views

Shelter Dogs Live Up To Expectations (Mostly)

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Testing behaviour in the shelter is tricky, but most people who adopt a dog would do so again. Animal shelters often assess the behaviour of dogs before rehoming them, but because the tests are not always scientifically validated, Mornement et al (2014) developed the B.A.R.K. protocol. Results of the B.A.R.K. on 74 shelter dogs successfully predicted in-home ratings for fear and friendliness after the dogs had been adopted, but not anxiety, activity level or compliance. A follow-up paper by........ Read more »

  • January 20, 2016
  • 08:30 AM
  • 76 views

Finding out if shelter dogs are friendly: testing the B.A.R.K. protocol

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Research shows the challenges of assessing behaviour in shelter dogs.We know our pets well. My dog Bodger is bouncy and friendly; he sits to be patted, then jumps up with a surreptitious kiss; he likes zucchini and hates thunder. We form these observations through time spent with our dogs. But at animal shelters it’s not so easy. How do you assess the temperament of a dog you’ve only just met?Research by Kate Mornement(Monash University; Pets Behaving Badly) et al investigates this problem. ........ Read more »

  • January 13, 2016
  • 08:30 AM
  • 134 views

How Audiobooks Can Help Shelter Dogs

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

New research shows listening to audiobooks can help dogs waiting for adoption.Imagine how it must feel to be a dog at a shelter, taken from your normal environment for reasons you don’t understand, with unfamiliar smells and noises, including other dogs barking. Could the sounds of music or a person reading help? A new study by Clarissa Brayley and Tamara Montrose (Hartpury Animal Behaviour College) tests audiobooks and music to see if they calm the dogs, and finds beneficial results from audi........ Read more »

  • December 16, 2015
  • 08:30 AM
  • 160 views

Make Your Dog Happy: Puppy Class!

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Going to puppy class could be the best investment you make in your dog. Puppy classes provide important socialization opportunities and early learning experiences for puppies up to 5 months old. Puppy class is not just about training, it’s also (even mostly) about socialization.Socialization matters because dogs go through a developmental stage when happy, positive experiences with new people, dogs and things are important, and help to set them up to be happy, calm adult dogs. We know thi........ Read more »

Freedman, D., King, J., & Elliot, O. (1961) Critical Period in the Social Development of Dogs. Science, 133(3457), 1016-1017. DOI: 10.1126/science.133.3457.1016  

KUTSUMI, A., NAGASAWA, M., OHTA, M., & OHTANI, N. (2013) Importance of Puppy Training for Future Behavior of the Dog. Journal of Veterinary Medical Science, 75(2), 141-149. DOI: 10.1292/jvms.12-0008  

Morrow, M., Ottobre, J., Ottobre, A., Neville, P., St-Pierre, N., Dreschel, N., & Pate, J. (2015) Breed-dependent differences in the onset of fear-related avoidance behavior in puppies. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 10(4), 286-294. DOI: 10.1016/j.jveb.2015.03.002  

  • December 2, 2015
  • 08:30 AM
  • 198 views

Enrichment for Goldfish

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

What keeps goldfish happy in their tank – and how do we know?You’ve heard about the importance of enrichment for companion animals (like dogs) and for zoo animals, but what about goldfish? Fish are the third most popular pet - kept by 12.3 million households in the US - so it’s an important topic for animal welfare. Different types of fish might have different preferences. A new study by Miriam Sullivan (University of Western Australia) et al investigates.Enrichment “is particularly impo........ Read more »

  • November 18, 2015
  • 08:30 AM
  • 210 views

Education about Cats may Reduce Feline Behaviour Problems

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Behavioural advice for people with a new kitten is linked to a better-behaved pet at 1 year old.A new pet can be hard work, and if people don’t fully understand the needs of their animals, behaviour problems can result. A new study investigates whether education for owners at their first vet appointment is the answer. People with a new kitten (3 months old) were given 25 minutes of standardized advice on caring for cats. The study, by Angelo Gazzano et al (University of Pisa) compared the........ Read more »

  • November 4, 2015
  • 08:30 AM
  • 253 views

Large Study Finds No Evidence for "Black Dog Syndrome"

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

A study of over 16,000 adoptable dogs finds black dogs don’t take longer to be adopted after all.Understanding what people look for in adoptable dogs can make a big difference to animal shelters. It makes sense to target promotions in order to stop dogs having lengthy stays. But you can only do this if you know what people want. The idea that black dogs wait longer for a new home than dogs of other colours has been around for a while. New research by Heather Svoboda and Christy Hoffman (C........ Read more »

  • October 28, 2015
  • 08:30 AM
  • 363 views

Make Your Dog Happy: Enrichment

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Easy ways to provide enrichment for your dog.Although we love our canine friends, many dogs have a relatively boring life in which they spend a lot of time hanging around the house or yard, perhaps on their own. Dogs that are bored or under-exercised can easily find their own entertainment, which might not be so pleasing to their human companions. Luckily there are many easy ways to add enrichment to our dog’s lives.Walks: If you are one of those people who walks your dog whatever the weather,........ Read more »

Christian HE, Westgarth C, Bauman A, Richards EA, Rhodes RE, Evenson KR, Mayer JA, & Thorpe RJ Jr. (2013) Dog ownership and physical activity: a review of the evidence. Journal of physical activity , 10(5), 750-9. PMID: 23006510  

Farrell, J., Hope, A., Hulstein, R., & Spaulding, S. (2015) Dog-Sport Competitors: What Motivates People to Participate with Their Dogs in Sporting Events?. Anthrozoos: A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People , 28(1), 61-71. DOI: 10.2752/089279315X1412935072201  

Tavares, S., Magalhães, A., & de Sousa, L. (2015) Labrador retrievers are more attracted to water than to social stimuli: A pilot study. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research. DOI: 10.1016/j.jveb.2015.07.041  

  • October 25, 2015
  • 08:30 AM
  • 195 views

A Conversation with Carri Westgarth

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Carri Westgarth and Francine Watkins new paper explores the perspectives of victims of dog bites. The results give important new insights into dog bite prevention. Carri kindly agreed to answer questions about her research on dog bites, dog walking, and puppies, and her own companion animals. How did you get interested in studying dog bite prevention?Carri as a child; Top photo: Carri with her dogs Jasmyn andBen, and her friend's dogs Alfie and ZephyrMy mum might say it started as a toddler........ Read more »

  • October 21, 2015
  • 08:30 AM
  • 283 views

A New Approach to Dog Bite Prevention

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Strategies to prevent dog bites need to get past the belief that ‘it won’t happen to me.’4.5 million people a year are bitten by a dog in the US, of whom 885,000 need medical attention (Gilchrist et al 2008). In England in the last year, there were 7,227 admissions to hospital for injuries due to dogs, over 3000 more than a decade earlier. Developing a better understanding of how to prevent dog bites is essential. A new paper by Carri Westgarthand Francine Watkins (University of Liver........ Read more »

  • October 14, 2015
  • 08:30 AM
  • 268 views

Talking About Animals: The Vegan and the Foxhunter

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

There are surprises in the language used to talk about animals. A vegan and a fox hunter have completely opposed views of animals. Yet analyzing how they talk shows some similarities, according to research by Guy Cook (King’s College, London). He studied interviews with a spokesperson for the Vegan Society and a spokesperson for the pro-foxhunting group The Countryside Alliance. Foxhunting has been illegal in the UK since 2005, and only a quarter of one per cent of the UK is vegan, s........ Read more »

  • October 7, 2015
  • 09:30 AM
  • 297 views

The Labrador Lifestyle

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

A survey of Labrador Retriever owners tells us what they eat, how often they exercise, and where they sleep.A survey of over 4000 people with Labrador Retrievers provides a fascinating insight into the lifestyle of the average Lab. 68% of the dogs were pets, 6% working dogs, and of the remainder the largest group of people did not say (a quarter of overall responses).  Black Labradors were the most common (49%), followed by yellow (27%) and chocolate (21%), with other colours including fox ........ Read more »

Pugh, C., Bronsvoort, B., Handel, I., Summers, K., & Clements, D. (2015) Dogslife: A cohort study of Labrador Retrievers in the UK. Preventive Veterinary Medicine. DOI: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2015.06.020  

  • September 23, 2015
  • 08:30 AM
  • 354 views

Cluck Click! Training Chickens Reveals Their Intelligence

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Teaching a trick to a chicken increases beliefs that chickens are intelligent and can feel emotions.Learning how to train chickens changes student’s attitudes towards them, according to a new study by Susan Hazel, Lisel O’Dwyer (both University of Adelaide) and Terry Ryan (Legacy Canine). The chickens were trained to do a specific task (such as pecking on a red but not green circle) in order to get food. Survey responses before and after the class show more positive attitudes after the ........ Read more »

  • September 16, 2015
  • 08:30 AM
  • 388 views

Make your dog happy. Train force free.

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

We can promote animal welfare by making learning a rewarding experience.By now, many people are familiar with the idea that using aversives to train dogs can have side effects. Studies show a correlation between aversive techniques (such as hitting, pinning, leash jerks and shock) and behaviour problems like aggression (Herron et al 2009; Casey et al 2014). One study found dogs in a training class that used aversives showed signs of stress and were less likely to look at their owners than in a s........ Read more »

  • September 9, 2015
  • 08:30 AM
  • 380 views

If You Lead a Lab to Water, Should You Let Them Swim?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

A new study tests whether Labrador Retrievers choose the pool.Labrador Retrievers were bred to retrieve from water, and it’s widely known they love to swim. But, how much? And, given their sociability, do they prefer to swim rather than mix with a person or another dog? A study by Sara Tavares, Ana Magalhães and Liliana de Sousa (Universityof Porto) gave Labs a free choice, and says the results are important for good animal welfare.The study involved ten Labrador Retrievers who live on a farm........ Read more »

  • September 2, 2015
  • 08:30 AM
  • 302 views

Preparation Makes a Difference to Pets in an Emergency

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

After the Great Earthquake in Japan, preparation was key to evacuating with pets - including training and socialization.When the magnitude 9 earthquake struck Japan in 2011, causing a tsunami and subsequent accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant, over 15,000 people were killed. Many people had to evacuate at short notice. In 2012, pet owners from two of the most badly affected areas, Iwate and Fukushima Prefectures, were asked about whether or not they took their pet and the types of planning t........ Read more »

Heath, S.E., & Linnabary, R.D. (2015) Challenges of managing animals in disasters in the US. Animals, 5(2), 173-192. info:/10.3390/ani5020173#sthash.7n7gGyyg.dpuf

Thompson, K.,, Every, D., Rainbird, S., Cornell, V., Smith, B., & Trigg, J. (2014) No pet or their person left behind: Increasing the disaster resilience of vulnerable groups through animal attachment, activities and networks. Animals , 4(2), 214-240. info:/10.3390/ani4020214

A survey of companion-animal owners affected by the East Japan Great Earthquake in Iwate and Fukushima Prefectures, Japan. (2015) Yamazaki, S. Anthrozoos, 28(2). info:/

  • August 26, 2015
  • 11:09 AM
  • 317 views

Summer Reading: The Play Edition

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Our summer reading list is all about play.Why do animals play? In Dog Sense, John Bradshaw writes “In wild animals, play must promote survival; otherwise, evolution would select against it – a young animal that is playing out in the open is much more obvious to a predator than one sleeping in its den. However, the benefits of play do not usually become apparent until months later, when they emerge in the form of better social integration or more sophisticated hunting techniques (to name........ Read more »

Bradshaw, J., Pullen, A., & Rooney, N. (2015) Why do adult dogs ‘play’?. Behavioural Processes, 82-87. DOI: 10.1016/j.beproc.2014.09.023  

  • August 19, 2015
  • 08:30 AM
  • 346 views

The Beneficial Effects of Watching Fish

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Spending time observing an aquarium leads to improvements in mood and reductions in heart rate.There are psychological benefits to watching fish and crustaceans in an aquarium, according to a new study by Deborah Cracknell et al. They observed people’s natural interactions with a marine life display, and took heart rate, blood pressure and questionnaire results from 84 experimental participants. But the display wasn’t a fish tank that you could fit in your living room – it was a large exhi........ Read more »

  • August 12, 2015
  • 08:30 AM
  • 354 views

Proof the Internet helps Cat Adoptions

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

And that toys are important in photographs of adoptable cats.We all assume that internet photos and adverts play an important role in pet adoption these days, and now it’s possible to put a figure on it, at least for cats. 82.5% of people who adopted a cat from a shelter in Western New York said Petfinder strongly or moderately influenced their adoption. The length of time cats waited for adoption varied from 1 to 126 days. Cats whose Petfinder profiles were clicked more than once a day were t........ Read more »

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