Training effects on dog behavior
Keywords:dog training, dog welfare, behavioral problems
The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether there are behavioral differences, and therefore repercussions on dog welfare, related to having attended or not training course and the characteristics of the latter. A questionnaire was proposed to a sample of dog owners regardless of their previous experience in dog training. The first section of the questionnaire regarded the personal data of the owner and the dog, the second section examine the daily dog management and its habits, a third section concerned the dog training and in a final part, 44 multiple-choice questions about dog behavior and their frequency of display (often, sometimes or never) were asked.
A total of 153 questionnaires were collected, half represent trained dogs and the other half represent untrained dogs. The statistical analysis revealed that certain behavioral problems are more observable in untrained dogs, like urinating at home (χ² = 6.445; p = 0.011), excessive excitability when the owners return (χ² = 5.112; p = 0.024), jumping on the owners not when they return (χ² = 6.115; p = 0.013), pulling the leash (χ² = 4.567; p = 0.033). It was also shown that the duration of the training and the number of sessions in which it took place also influenced the presentation of these behaviors. Finally, differences in behavior were observed due to the method used within the subgroup of trained dogs. This preliminary investigation show that the training dogs have less behavioral problem than the untrained dogs.