Exposure to dog appeasing pheromones (DAP) has been suggested to reduce stress related behaviors in dogs; however, the effects of DAP administered using a portable, rapid use spray has not received as much attention as the plug-in format. The aim of the present study was to determine whether DAP spray reduced stress related behaviors in rescue shelter dogs (Canis familiaris). Barking intensity, frequency of barking and stress related behaviors in the presence of a stressor were recorded using a repeated measures design with and without the use of spray pheromones. The mean barking intensity was reduced in dogs exposed to DAP spray although no significant difference in the frequency of barking or occurrence of stress related behaviors was found. This change in barking behavior is difficult to interpret as being beneficial to dog welfare, due to the lack of support from a reduction in the other stress indicators. Further research is needed which utilizes both a longer time period of DAP exposure and behavioral observation to understand any effects of DAP on dogs’ behavior. A larger sample size, alongside use of different stressors and physiological stress indicators, should also be considered.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research|
|Early online date||10 Apr 2018|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jul 2018|
- DAP spray
- dog behavior
- dog-appeasing pheromones