Environmental enrichment in kennelled pit bull terriers (Canis lupus familiaris)

Kiddie, Jenna, Bodymore, Anna and Dittrich, Alex (2017) Environmental enrichment in kennelled pit bull terriers (Canis lupus familiaris). Animals, 7 (4). art. no. 27.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/ani7040027

Abstract

Although social enrichment can be considered beneficial in helping dogs cope with the kennel environment, when taking individual needs into account, it places a large demand on the carers and may not be appropriate in under-resourced kennels. Some kennels are also designed in such a way that there is too much social interaction, in that individuals cannot choose to distance themselves from conspecifics. This study therefore aimed to assess the effects of easily accessible enrichment on the behaviour of kennelled Pit Bull Terrier type dogs rescued from a dog-fighting ring in the Philippines. Thirty-six dogs were allocated to one of three treatment groups following a matched-subject design: (i) cardboard bed provision; (ii) coconut provision; and (iii) visual contact with dogs housed in adjacent cages obstructed with cardboard partitions. Behavioural diversity and the duration and frequency of individual behaviours were analysed using linear mixed-effect models. Yawning frequencies and time spent lying down and sitting decreased during treatment. No particular treatment was more influential in these behavioural changes. In conclusion, enrichment, regardless of type, affected the dogs’ behaviour, with some effects depending on the sex of the dogs. Therefore, it is possible to cheaply and sustainably enrich the lives of dogs living in highly constrained environments, however, further research is required to refine the methods used.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Animals
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 2076-2615
Departments: Forestry and Conservation
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2019 13:28
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 18:50
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/5153

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