Pet dog trainers of Europe Code of Ethics: a way to take dog training into the 21st century

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  • National Wildlife Research Center, USDA APHIS WS,Fort Collins, CO 80521, USA

    Abstracts 732Department of Biology, Central Michigan University,Mount Pleasant, MI 48859, USA3Le Vieux Servoz, 74310 Servoz, France*Correspondingauthor:;Phone:1970-266-6093

    Dogs have been used for centuries to protect an array ofresources of value to humans from offending wildlifespecies. Traditionally, livestock protection dogs (LPDs)protected sheep and other livestock from predators due todevelopment of a strong bond between the protected andthe protector. A variety of breeds have been evaluatedfor alternative management purposes such as protectingorchards, nurseries, and vegetable farms from white-taileddeer (Odocoileus virginianus). More recently, researcherscapitalized on the versatility of bonding by LPDs andevaluated them in reducing the potential for transmissionof bovine tuberculosis from white-tailed deer to cattle byprotecting areas occupied by and feed destined for use bycattle.The adaptability of LPDs provides a multitude of possibil-ities around the world to address changing human-wildlifeconflicts in a green and nonlethal way. For example, withwolves (Canis lupus) and grizzly bears (Ursus arctosdown at the sample, which contained food odor mixed withtarget odor and was placed amidst blank samples. In phase2, a target sample without food odor was placed amidstblank samples. In phase 3, a target sample was placedamidst control samples. To pass to the next training phase,the dogs had to have 40% of correct indications within 100trials, without any false positives, misses, hesitations orhaving been giving a prompt by the handler. Significantindividual differences were found in the dogs performanceduring the training. The percentage of trials needingprompts to achieve independent work decreased in olderdogs in consecutive training phases and increased in phase2 in younger dogs. Increasing the level of the challenge inconsecutive training phases resulted in higher percentage offalse positives and misses. Although all dogs achieved thecriterion of 40% correct indications in all training phases,a decreasing motivation to sniff the odor samples wasobserved in younger dogs in training phase 3. We con-cluded that operant conditioning of dogs for detection ofodorants associated with cancer diseases is relativelyeasy; however, the percentage of false positives and missesis difficult to reduce.

    Key words: dogs; operant conditioning; cancer detection

    THE DYNAMIC ROLE OF LIVESTOCK PROTECTION DOGS INA CHANGING WORLDKurt C. VerCauteren1,*, Thomas M. Gehring2,Jean-Marc Landry31horribilis) coexisting with livestock in the Western US,the use of LPDs is easing the reestablishment and accep-tance of expanding predator populations by helping to en-able livestock producers to remain economically viableand self sufficient. However, new applications of LPDs innew geographic regions present new challenges for pro-ducers that may not have previously dealt with these largerand more aggressive adversaries. Some producers areadapting and experimenting by deploying groups ofLPDs, which may include some more forceful breeds, asnecessary, to effectively protect livestock. Progressive andproactive thought as well as well-planned research will fur-ther knowledge into potential roles for LPDs and will helppromote and revive a publicly acceptable nonlethal live-stock protection tool.

    Key words: livestock protection dogs; predation; wildlifedamage management

    PET DOG TRAINERS OF EUROPE CODE OF ETHICS:A WAY TO TAKE DOG TRAINING INTO THE 21ST CENTURYTurid Rugaas*President of Pet Dog Trainers of Europe (PDTE), Postbox109, 3360 Geithus, Norway*Corresponding author:

    Besides traditional tasks such as hunting, guarding, herd-ing, sporting and accompanying people, new duties dailyappear in the dogs agenda: assistance to the disabled, newforms of agility (canicross, flyball), scientific research ex-periments, et cetera. All these activities are physical andemotionally quite demanding for dogs, which must copewith a priori unfamiliar situations, environments andagents (humans and other animals). To be ethically admis-sible, dog-human interactions must warrant that bothhumans and dogs do not undergo any risk of physical orpsychological damage. Regrettably, the dogs welfare isoften neglected in day to day activities.Some efforts have recently been made to improve dogslives. Ethical guidelines for dog training and handlinghave been sketched by dog expert associations (APDT,ADI), and a subtle sensibility towards animal feelingshas appeared in the scientific community: although dogwelfare is still subject to research interests, statementsof welfare conditions are now mandatory to obtain finan-cial support and are specifically required by scientificjournals.However, only a few owners, practitioners and even pro-fessionals are able to understand the dog communicationsystem. This is often the case of scientific experts, but alsoof ubiquitous self-proclaimed positive trainers, usually fa-miliar with classical theories (conditioning, shaping, et ce-tera), but absolutely blind to stress signals during handlingand work.Knowledge about dogs world must still be spread andexpanded. Meanwhile, a set of rules, a universal Code of

  • 74 Journal of Veterinary Behavior, Vol 6, No 1, January/February 2011Ethics, must be designed to ensure that animals live a goodlife under our supervision and care. Good scientific practicemust be not be only painless and non-invasive, but it mustalso be friendly and respectful practice. We should take thechallenge of being responsible advocates for the animalswe have in our care. A step in this direction is the Codeof Ethics written and supported by the PDTE(, by which we try to live and about whichwe spread knowledge.

    Key words: dogs and humans; animal welfare; code ofethics

    A NEW APPROACH TO THE STUDY OF SOCIAL BEHAVIORAND ACTIVITY IN WOLF ONTOGENYAnna Yachmennikova*, Andrey PoyarkovSevertsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, RussianAcademy of Science, Leninsky pr. 33, Moscow, RussischeFoderation, 117071*Corresponding author:

    Wolves are highly social and mentally developed animalswith complex social organization. Their behavior is fullyvariable and completely organized. The first description ofthe behavioral repertoire of wolves was made more than60 years ago. Observations of their social organizationand behavior in the wild predate this. Despite much workon behavior and social organization, there is still anaccurate perception that their behavior is more compli-cated and organized than that which is easily studied withtraditional ethological descriptions and analysis. Supra-organismal systems research methods require furtherimprovement. To get such improvement, we suggest touse the program Theme (NOLDUS) for variouspurposes, including the research of a continuous streamof animals behavior, organized in sequence of patterns.The concept of pattern in modern ethology has manyinterpretations. We understand it as it is complex deter-mined, and the ordered repeated sequence of behavioralelements. As a model object of research the wolf inexperimental conditions is close to a natural condition.The wolf possesses developed intelligence, complexstructure of intraspecific behavior and is long-lived.Data on behaviors of one experimental group of 4 wolvesfrom 1 to 6 months of age was collected in 2007 duringaround-the-clock observations in the Tver region (RussianFederation), at the biological research station ChistyLes. Wolves were studied in 1.5 hectare enclosures. Allactivities were one of 18 activity-types. Behaviors werenoted at 1 minute intervals.The behavioral sequence of the 4 experimental animalsmaking up the social group is organized with T-patternstructure. The behavioral organization correlates withthe social status of the animals in the group. Seasonaldynamics of organization in patterns mark the importantstages in development of individuals in the ontogenyprocess, like the critical period of social group changes(75-115 days).The Theme program (NOLDUS) can be applied to revealthe latent structure of a continuous stream of behavior insupraorganismal systems. Results of our research haveshown that the most important characteristics of groupstructure are degree of an inclusiveness of individuals inpatterns and frequency. The wolves behavior is organized inpatterns attributable to independent activity of individuals toa great degree, rather than to activity directed toward othermembers of group.

    Key words: hidden T-patterns; wolf-pup; ontogeny; behavior

    OWNER-REPORTED BREED-TYPICAL BEHAVIOR ANDBREED-GROUP DIFFERENCES IN THE GERMAN PET DOGPOPULATIONBorbala Turcsan*, Enik}o Kubinyi, Adam MiklosiEotvos Lorand University, Institute of Biology,Department of Ethology, Pazmany Peter setany 1/c, 1117,Budapest, Hungary*Corresponding author:;Phone: (361) 381-2179

    Modern dog breeding gave rise to more than 400 breedsdiffering both in morphology and behavior. Traditionally,dog breeds are grouped by their historic function. However,lately, genetic studies uncovered genetic relatedness be-tween the breeds, which can be independent from thehistoric function. In this study we aimed to analyze thepotential effect of the historic function and the geneticdifferences on the typical behavior of dog breeds. Ownersof 5,683 dogs (96 breeds) filled out an online questionnairein German. The individual data were used to calculatebehavioral traits (calmness, trainability, dog sociality andboldness) by averaging the factor scores of all individualsof the breed. Breeds were grouped on the basis of the(supposed) historic function using the categorization sys-tem of the American Kennel Club (AKC). We foundmarked differences in the trainability and boldness traits.The herding dog group was more trainable than hounds,working dogs, toy dogs and non-sporting dogs; the sportingdog group was also more trainable than non-sporting dogs.With respect to the boldness trait, the terrier group wasbolder than hounds and herding dogs. Based on theassociation of behavior with genetic relatedness, breedswere grouped into five clusters. The genetic clustersdiffered also in trainability and boldness which suggeststhat the functional grouping reliably mirrors genetic relat-edness. Ancient breeds were less trainable than the mastiff/terrier, the herding/sighthound and the hunting breed clus-ter. With respect to the boldness trait, the mastiff/terriercluster was reported to be bolder than the clusters ofancient and the herding/sighthound breeds. We also foundsmaller differences between breed groups in calmness anddog sociality traits; however, these differences are not