Former laboratory dogs’ psychological and behavioural characteristics

https://doi.org/10.17221/139/2021-VETMED
supplementary materialdownload PDF

It is becoming increasingly common for laboratories to allow the rehoming of dogs when they are no longer needed. There is no research, however, comparing the characteristics of dogs from laboratories to dogs acquired from more traditional sources for pets. This study used the Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire (C-BARQ) to compare emotional and behavioural characteristics of 100 former laboratory Beagles who were rehomed to a convenience sample of 244 pet Beagles with no known history of laboratory use. Our results revealed that the former laboratory Beagles exhibited increased fearfulness, attention and attachment behaviours, and more abnormal behaviours than the convenience sample, yet were significantly less aggressive, and likely to chase other animals or escape. Importantly, we also found no significant differences in a majority of the everyday behaviours assessed. Our findings demonstrate dogs rehomed from laboratories form strong bonds with their caregivers, and make equally good companions as their non-laboratory counterparts. Our findings may be helpful in designing appropriate rehabilitation programmes, educating laboratory workers and potential adopters, and support the ongoing efforts to offer these dogs for adoption.

References:
Ake HJ. Laboratory Beagles as pets: Follow up analysis of 59 Beagles placed through an adoption program. Contemp Top Lab Anim Sci. 1996;35(3):51-3.
 
Araujo JA, de Rivera C, Landsberg GM, Adams PE, Milgram NW. Development and validation of a novel laboratory model of sound-induced fear and anxiety in Beagle dogs. J Vet Behav. 2013;8(4):204-12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2012.10.008
 
Beerda B, Schilder MB, Van Hooff J, de Vries HW, Mol JA. Behavioral and hormonal indicators of enduring environment stress in dogs. Anim Welf. 2000;9(1):49-62.
 
Beerda B, Schilder MB, van Hooff JA, de Vries HW, Mol JA. Chronic stress in dogs subjected to social and spatial restriction. I. Behavioral responses. Physiol Behav. 1999 Apr;66(2):233-42.
 
Boxall J, Heath S, Bate S, Brautigam J. Modern concepts of socialisation for dogs: Implications for their behaviour, welfare and use in scientific procedures. Altern Lab Anim. 2004 Sep;32(Suppl_2):81-93.
 
Brait E. Canine PTSD: How the US military’s use of dogs affects their mental wellbeing [Internet]. The Guardian. 2015 Nov 11 [cited 2020 Jun 9]. Available from: www.theguardian.com/society/2015/nov/11/canine-ptsd-us-military-working-dogs.
 
Bray EE, Otto CM, Udell MAR, Hall NJ, Johnston AM, Mac-Lean EL. Enhancing the selection and performance of working dogs. Front Vet Sci. 2021 May 12;8:1-21. Erratum in: Front Vet Sci. 2022 Apr 8;9:898698.
 
Carbone L, Guanzini L, McDonald C. Adoption options for laboratory animals. Lab Anim (NY). 2003 Oct;32(9):37-41.
 
Dao J. After duty, dogs suffer like soldiers [Internet]. The New York Times. 2011 Dec 2 [cited 2020 Jun 10]. Available from: www.nytimes.com/2011/12/02/us/more-military-dogs-show-signs-of-combat-stress.html?_r=2&hp&pagewanted=1&.
 
Daskalakis NP, Yehuda R, Diamond DM. Animal models in translational studies of PTSD. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2013 Sep;38(9):1895-911.
 
Doring D, Nick O, Bauer A, Kuchenhoff H, Erhard MH. Behavior of laboratory dogs before and after rehoming in private homes. ALTEX. 2017a;34(1):133-47.
 
Doring D, Nick O, Bauer A, Kuchenhoff H, Erhard MH. How do rehomed laboratory Beagles behave in everyday situations? Results from an observational test and a survey of new owners. PLoS One. 2017b Jul 25;12(7):e0181303.
 
European Commission. Accompanying document to the report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament. Seventh report on the statistics on the number of animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes in the member states of the European Union [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2019 Nov 19]. Available from: eur-lex.europa.eu/resource.html?uri=cellar:e99d2a56-32fc-4f60-ad69-61ead7e377e8.0001.03/DOC_1&format=PDF.
 
Ferdowsian H, Merskin D. Parallels in sources of trauma, pain, distress, and suffering in humans and nonhuman animals. J Trauma Dissociation. 2012;13(4):448-68. https://doi.org/10.1080/15299732.2011.652346
 
Foa EB, Zinbarg R, Rothbaum BO. Uncontrollability and unpredictability in post-traumatic stress disorder: An animal model. Psychol Bull. 1992 Sep;112(2):218-38.
 
Grigg EK, Chou J, Parker E, Gatesy-Davis A, Clarkson ST, Hart LA. Stress-related behaviors in companion dogs exposed to common household noises, and owners’ interpretations of their dogs’ behaviors. Front Vet Sci. 2021 Nov 8;8:760845.
 
Hanninen L, Norring M. The first rehoming of laboratory Beagles in Finland: The complete process from socialisation training to follow-up. Altern Lab Anim. 2020 May;48(3):116-26.
 
Hetts S, Clark JD, Calpin JP, Arnold CE, Mateo JM. Influence of housing conditions on Beagle behaviour. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 1992 Jul;34(1-2):137-55.
 
Hoffman CL, Chen P, Serpell JA, Jacobson KC. Do dog behavioral characteristics predict the quality of the relationship between dogs and their owners? Hum Anim Interact Bull. 2013;1(1):20-37.
 
Hsu Y, Serpell JA. Development and validation of a questionnaire for measuring behavior and temperament traits in pet dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2003 Nov 1;223(9):1293-300.
 
LASA – Laboratory Animal Science Association. LASA guidance on the rehoming of laboratory dogs. A report based on a LASA working party and LASA meeting on rehoming laboratory animals [Internet]. UK: Laboratory Animal Science Association (LASA); 2004 [cited 2019 Nov 12]. p. 1-26. Available from: www.lasa.co.uk/PDF/LASA%20Guidance%20on%20the%20Rehoming%20of%20Laboratory%20Dogs.pdf.
 
Lopresti-Goodman S. Psychology Department, Marymount University, Arlington, VA, US. Conversation with: Campell, Lorna, Beagle Freedom Project, Los Angeles, CA, US. 2017 Mar 28.
 
Lopresti-Goodman S. Psychology Department, Marymount University, Arlington, VA, US. Conversation with: Keith, Shannon, Beagle Freedom Project, Los Angeles, CA, US. 2016 Nov 10.
 
McMillan FD, Duffy DL, Zawistowski SL, Serpell JA. Behavioral and psychological characteristics of canine victims of abuse. J Appl Anim Welf Sci. 2015;18(1):92-111. https://doi.org/10.1080/10888705.2014.962230
 
Riemer S, Heritier C, Windschnurer I, Pratsch L, Arhant C, Affenzeller N. A review on mitigating fear and aggression in dogs and cats in a veterinary setting. Animals (Basel). 2021 Jan 12;11(1):158.
 
Scullion Hall LE, Robinson S, Finch J, Buchanan-Smith HM. The influence of facility and home pen design on the welfare of the laboratory-housed dog. J Pharmacol Toxicol Methods. 2017 Jan-Feb;83:21-9.
 
Serpell JA, Duffy DL. Dog breeds and their behavior. In: Horowitz A, editor. Domestic dog cognition and behavior: The scientific study of Canis familiaris. Berlin: Springer-Verlag Publishing; 2014. p. 31-57.
 
Skidmore T, Roe E. A semi-structured questionnaire survey of laboratory animal rehoming practice across 41 UK animal research facilities. PLoS One. 2020 Jun 19;15(6):e0234922.
 
The European Parliament and The Council. Directive 2010/63/EU OF the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2010 on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes [Internet]. 2010 Sep 22 [cited 2019 Nov 12]. Available from: eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32010L0063&rid=4.
 
Tiira K, Sulkama S, Lohi H. Prevalence, comorbidity, and behavioral variation in canine anxiety. J Vet Behav. 2016 Nov-Dec;16:36-44.
 
Tynes VV, Sinn L. Abnormal repetitive behaviors in dogs and cats: A guide for practitioners. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 2014 May;44(3):543-64.
 
United States Department of Agriculture. Annual report animal usage by fiscal year [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2021 Oct 22]. Available from: www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalwelfare/sa_obtain_research_facility_annual_report/ct_research_facility_annual_summary_reports.
 
US Department of Health and Human Services. How to work with your Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Dogs. 2004 [cited 2022 Nov 8]. Available from: ori.hhs.gov/education/products/ncstate/iacuc.htm.
 
supplementary materialdownload PDF

© 2022 Czech Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Prohlášení o přístupnosti