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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2000 Aug 15;217(4):504-8.

Effect of dietary protein content and tryptophan supplementation on dominance aggression, territorial aggression, and hyperactivity in dogs.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, Grafton, MA 01536, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000 Oct 1;217(7):1012.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the effect of high- and low-protein diets with or without tryptophan supplementation on behavior of dogs with dominance aggression, territorial aggression, and hyperactivity.

DESIGN:

Prospective crossover study.

ANIMALS:

11 dogs with dominance aggression, 11 dogs with territorial aggression, and 11 dogs with hyperactivity.

PROCEDURE:

In each group, 4 diets were fed for 1 weeks each in random order with a transition period of not < 3 days between each diet. Two diets had low protein content (approximately 18%), and 2 diets had high protein content (approximately 30%). Two of the diets (1 low-protein and 1 high-protein) were supplemented with tryptophan. Owners scored their dog's behavior daily by use of customized behavioral score sheets. Mean weekly values of 5 behavioral measures and serum concentrations of serotonin and tryptophan were determined at the end of each dietary period.

RESULTS:

For dominance aggression, behavioral scores were highest in dogs fed unsupplemented high-protein rations. For territorial aggression, [corrected] tryptophan-supplemented low-protein diets were associated with significantly lower behavioral scores than low-protein diets without tryptophan supplements.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE:

For dogs with dominance aggression, the addition of tryptophan to high-protein diets or change to a low-protein diet may reduce aggression. For dogs with territorial aggression, tryptophan supplementation of a low-protein diet may be helpful in reducing aggression.

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PMID:
10953712
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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