Fachbereich Veterinärmedizin



    Evaluation of regulation states in comparison with behavioural analysis determining states of stress sensitivity in dogs (2006)

    Balzer, H. U.
    Struwe, R.
    Kuhne, F.
    3rd European Conference on Behavioural Biology, Physiological Mechanisms in Behavioural Ecology
    Belfast, Ireland, 04. – 06.09.2006
    Proceedings of the 3rd European Conference on Behavioural Biology, Physiological Mechanisms in Behavioural Ecology
    — S. 14
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    Abstract / Zusammenfassung

    This study is a step in the non-invasive field trial of dogs’ condition. Special stimuli were chosen which presumably influence the dogs’ emotion and behaviour. The evaluation of the nervous response of the autonomous nervous system (skin potential) and electric muscle activity (EMG) was conducted using the device SMARD-Watch®. The heart rate variability was measured using the POLAR®-System. The dogs’ behaviour, especially their x-y-z-acceleration movement, was monitored using the WAS®-System. Ten dogs were investigated. The dogs were measured 60 minutes during the time they were single kept in a 9x9 m kennel. The entire test sequences were videotaped, and afterwards analysed using “continuous behavioural sampling”. The main documented behavioural patterns were laying, sitting down, sleeping, standing, jumping, running and during the nutrition period. Applying different methods of time series analysis, the changes in the regulatory processes of the physiological data were determined in detail. The dogs’ regulation state can be deactivated or activated. The regulation quality decreases from a good over a stereotype to a dysregulation state. The study showed that there are dogs, which had to be judged as very susceptible to stress. Additional stimuli or a change of the setting can lead to an additional increase of the activation with the possible consequence that the animals are now under strain – they appeared to be calm, but behind this passive behavioural strategy, we could measure a high level of activation. This paper will focus on the complex and interrelated factors which underlie the relationship between the psycho-physiological regulation state and the dogs’ behavioural patterns.