Animal Behaviour and Management
Online ISSN : 2435-0397
Original articles
The effects of everyday odors on behavior of dogs separated from their owners
Takayuki HORIIRina AIZAWATakaaki FUKUYAMAAtsushi MIYATAToshihiro KAWAZOEKatsuji UETAKEToshio TANAKA
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2021 Volume 57 Issue 1 Pages 1-11

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Abstract

We investigated the effects of an owner’s body odor on their dog’s behavior while separated. Twelve privately owned, healthy dogs with no history of separation anxiety were included. Four odor stimuli: owner’s sock, dried beef meat, lavender oil, and a control (cotton; no odor) were selected. Each odor stimulus was inserted into a cushion cover and presented to a penned dog for 30 min. The dog was left alone in a room, and the dog’s behavioral responses recorded by video. Investigation of the owner’s sock by dogs was significantly (P < 0.05) longer than lavender oil, which was similar to dried beef meat. Although there was no significant difference with the control, approximately 50% of the dogs spent >twice as much time investigating the owner’s sock than the control, suggesting the dogs showed stronger interest in their owners’ socks. Also, those dogs with a prolonged investigation time with their owner’s socks had a long lying duration around the odor (rs=0.661, P < 0.05), suggesting an attachment behavior toward maintaining proximity to their owner’s sock as a substitute for the presence of their owner. However, suppressive vocalization effects associated with owner separation were not apparent.

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© 2021 Japanese Society for Animal Behaviour and Management
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