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Everyday behaviour in dogs

breed differences and genetic analysis

Eken Asp, Helena (2015). Everyday behaviour in dogs. Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv.
ISBN 978-91-576-9332-7
eISBN 978-91-576-9333-4
[Licentiate thesis]

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The absolute majority of dogs are kept as companion animals. Dogs kept as family pets are frequently exposed to noisy and crowded environments, and often have to interact with unfamiliar dogs and humans. In Sweden, we have a long history of recording behaviour in dogs on a large scale. The Swedish Working Dog Association (SBK) has, since 1989, carried out a standardized behavioural test called Dog Mentality Assessment (DMA). Results from the DMA can be condensed into five personality traits: playfulness, sociability, curiosity/fearlessness, chase-proneness and aggression.

The aim of this thesis was to investigate the possibility to use information from the DMA to select for improved everyday life in dogs and to study the genetic background of everyday behaviour. This was done by estimating factors affecting everyday life behaviour as well as the genetic background of behaviour assessed either through a questionnaire or measured in the DMA.

In the first study (I) we investigated factors affecting everyday behaviour in 20 dog breeds. The analysis was based on records from a total of 3,591 dogs. In the second study (II) we estimated genetic parameters for behaviour in the Rough Collie both for everyday behaviour assessed through a questionnaire and for behaviour assessed in the DMA. The analysis included records for 1,738 dogs on everyday behaviour and records for 2,953 dogs from the DMA.

Results from the studies showed that age, sex, breed and breed group (working vs non-working breeds) had a significant effect on everyday behaviour. Working dog breeds were overall more interested in playing with humans and more trainable. Phenotypic correlations showed, for example, that more fearful dogs were more aggressive and dogs that were more eager to play with humans were easier to train. The estimated heritabilities for both everyday behaviour and DMA behaviour traits ranged between 0.06 and 0.36. The genetic correlations between everyday behaviour traits and DMA results indicate that the DMA could be used as an effective tool for selection of everyday behaviour in the Rough Collie.

Authors/Creators:Eken Asp, Helena
Title:Everyday behaviour in dogs
Subtitle:breed differences and genetic analysis
Year of publishing :18 September 2015
Depositing date:17 September 2015
Number of Pages:46
IEken Asp H., Fikse W. F., Nilsson K. and Strandberg E. (2015). Breed Differences in Everyday Behaviour of Dogs. Journal of Applied Animal Behaviour Science 169, 69-77.
IIArvelius P., Eken Asp H., Fikse W. F., Strandberg E. and Nilsson K. (2014). Genetic Analysis of a Temperament Test as a Tool to Select Against Everyday Life Fearfulness in Rough Collie. Journal of Animal Science 92(11), 4843-4855.
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-9332-7
ISBN for electronic version:978-91-576-9333-4
Publication Type:Licentiate thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:L Animal production > L10 Animal genetics and breeding
L Animal production > L20 Animal ecology
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 402 Animal and Dairy Science > Animal and Dairy Science.
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 404 Agricultural Biotechnology > Genetics and Breeding
Agrovoc terms:dogs, pet animals, breeds (animals), behaviour, genetic correlation, heritability, questionnaires
Keywords:Behaviour, Dog, Genetic analysis, Questionnaire, Dog mentality assessment, Companion dog, Temperament
Permanent URL:
ID Code:12597
Faculty:VH - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Deposited By: Helena Eken Asp
Deposited On:18 Sep 2015 07:33
Metadata Last Modified:10 Sep 2020 13:41

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