The behavioural effects of olfactory stimulation on dogs at a rescue shelter

John Binks, Sienna Taylor, Alison Wills, V. Tamara Montrose

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article

    3 Citations (Scopus)
    14 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Many domestic dogs are kept in rescue and rehoming shelters which are frequently stressful and under-stimulating environments. Dog welfare is often compromised within these environments and there is a need to determine new practical and effective methods of improving the welfare of these kennelled dogs. Olfactory stimulation has been demonstrated to have positive behavioural effects in a range of contexts, however this field remains relatively understudied in the domestic dog. This study aimed to investigate the effects of olfactory stimulation via vanilla, coconut, ginger and valerian upon the behaviour of 15 dogs at a rescue shelter. The dogs were simultaneously exposed to six olfactory conditions using scented cloths following a fixed order (cloth control, coconut, vanilla, valerian, ginger and odour control) for 2 h a day for 3 days with an intervening period of 2 days between conditions. The dogs’ behaviour was recorded every 10 min throughout the 2 h olfactory conditions using instantaneous scan-sampling. Exposure to ginger, coconut, vanilla and valerian resulted in significantly lower levels of vocalisations and movement compared to the control conditions, while coconut and ginger additionally increased levels of sleeping behaviour. These odours may have application in rescue shelters due to the reduction of behaviours such as barking and activity, which may be indicative of stress, as well as being traits perceived as undesirable by adopters. This research provides support for the use of olfactory stimulation within the kennel environment.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)69-76
    Number of pages8
    JournalApplied Animal Behaviour Science
    Volume202
    Issue numberMay
    Early online date31 Jan 2018
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018

    Fingerprint

    Ginger
    Dogs
    Cocos
    ginger
    Vanilla
    Valerian
    coconuts
    dogs
    odor control
    research support
    vocalization
    odors
    Research
    sampling
    Odorants

    Keywords

    • Dog behaviour
    • Dog welfare
    • Environmental enrichment
    • Olfactory stimulation

    Cite this

    @article{6b68c7a50d5344a9b04fb178788d9238,
    title = "The behavioural effects of olfactory stimulation on dogs at a rescue shelter",
    abstract = "Many domestic dogs are kept in rescue and rehoming shelters which are frequently stressful and under-stimulating environments. Dog welfare is often compromised within these environments and there is a need to determine new practical and effective methods of improving the welfare of these kennelled dogs. Olfactory stimulation has been demonstrated to have positive behavioural effects in a range of contexts, however this field remains relatively understudied in the domestic dog. This study aimed to investigate the effects of olfactory stimulation via vanilla, coconut, ginger and valerian upon the behaviour of 15 dogs at a rescue shelter. The dogs were simultaneously exposed to six olfactory conditions using scented cloths following a fixed order (cloth control, coconut, vanilla, valerian, ginger and odour control) for 2 h a day for 3 days with an intervening period of 2 days between conditions. The dogs’ behaviour was recorded every 10 min throughout the 2 h olfactory conditions using instantaneous scan-sampling. Exposure to ginger, coconut, vanilla and valerian resulted in significantly lower levels of vocalisations and movement compared to the control conditions, while coconut and ginger additionally increased levels of sleeping behaviour. These odours may have application in rescue shelters due to the reduction of behaviours such as barking and activity, which may be indicative of stress, as well as being traits perceived as undesirable by adopters. This research provides support for the use of olfactory stimulation within the kennel environment.",
    keywords = "Dog behaviour, Dog welfare, Environmental enrichment, Olfactory stimulation",
    author = "John Binks and Sienna Taylor and Alison Wills and Montrose, {V. Tamara}",
    year = "2018",
    month = "5",
    day = "1",
    doi = "10.1016/j.applanim.2018.01.009",
    language = "English",
    volume = "202",
    pages = "69--76",
    journal = "Applied Animal Behaviour Science",
    issn = "0168-1591",
    publisher = "Elsevier",
    number = "May",

    }

    The behavioural effects of olfactory stimulation on dogs at a rescue shelter. / Binks, John; Taylor, Sienna; Wills, Alison; Montrose, V. Tamara.

    In: Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Vol. 202, No. May, 01.05.2018, p. 69-76.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - The behavioural effects of olfactory stimulation on dogs at a rescue shelter

    AU - Binks, John

    AU - Taylor, Sienna

    AU - Wills, Alison

    AU - Montrose, V. Tamara

    PY - 2018/5/1

    Y1 - 2018/5/1

    N2 - Many domestic dogs are kept in rescue and rehoming shelters which are frequently stressful and under-stimulating environments. Dog welfare is often compromised within these environments and there is a need to determine new practical and effective methods of improving the welfare of these kennelled dogs. Olfactory stimulation has been demonstrated to have positive behavioural effects in a range of contexts, however this field remains relatively understudied in the domestic dog. This study aimed to investigate the effects of olfactory stimulation via vanilla, coconut, ginger and valerian upon the behaviour of 15 dogs at a rescue shelter. The dogs were simultaneously exposed to six olfactory conditions using scented cloths following a fixed order (cloth control, coconut, vanilla, valerian, ginger and odour control) for 2 h a day for 3 days with an intervening period of 2 days between conditions. The dogs’ behaviour was recorded every 10 min throughout the 2 h olfactory conditions using instantaneous scan-sampling. Exposure to ginger, coconut, vanilla and valerian resulted in significantly lower levels of vocalisations and movement compared to the control conditions, while coconut and ginger additionally increased levels of sleeping behaviour. These odours may have application in rescue shelters due to the reduction of behaviours such as barking and activity, which may be indicative of stress, as well as being traits perceived as undesirable by adopters. This research provides support for the use of olfactory stimulation within the kennel environment.

    AB - Many domestic dogs are kept in rescue and rehoming shelters which are frequently stressful and under-stimulating environments. Dog welfare is often compromised within these environments and there is a need to determine new practical and effective methods of improving the welfare of these kennelled dogs. Olfactory stimulation has been demonstrated to have positive behavioural effects in a range of contexts, however this field remains relatively understudied in the domestic dog. This study aimed to investigate the effects of olfactory stimulation via vanilla, coconut, ginger and valerian upon the behaviour of 15 dogs at a rescue shelter. The dogs were simultaneously exposed to six olfactory conditions using scented cloths following a fixed order (cloth control, coconut, vanilla, valerian, ginger and odour control) for 2 h a day for 3 days with an intervening period of 2 days between conditions. The dogs’ behaviour was recorded every 10 min throughout the 2 h olfactory conditions using instantaneous scan-sampling. Exposure to ginger, coconut, vanilla and valerian resulted in significantly lower levels of vocalisations and movement compared to the control conditions, while coconut and ginger additionally increased levels of sleeping behaviour. These odours may have application in rescue shelters due to the reduction of behaviours such as barking and activity, which may be indicative of stress, as well as being traits perceived as undesirable by adopters. This research provides support for the use of olfactory stimulation within the kennel environment.

    KW - Dog behaviour

    KW - Dog welfare

    KW - Environmental enrichment

    KW - Olfactory stimulation

    U2 - 10.1016/j.applanim.2018.01.009

    DO - 10.1016/j.applanim.2018.01.009

    M3 - Journal Article

    VL - 202

    SP - 69

    EP - 76

    JO - Applied Animal Behaviour Science

    JF - Applied Animal Behaviour Science

    SN - 0168-1591

    IS - May

    ER -