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J Appl Anim Welf Sci. 2005;8(2):79-96.

An audit of behavioral indicators of poor welfare in kenneled dogs in the United Kingdom.

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School of Design and Engineering, Brunel University, Egham, Surrey, England.


This survey-based study describes the prevalence and onset of behavioral indicators of poor welfare in dogs kenneled at United Kingdom rescue shelters. It describes key factors contributing to individual variation in behaviors. At 8 rescue shelters, staff trained in the care of nonhuman animals recorded daily whether dogs in their care displayed each of 15 behaviors. The study originally involved 302 dogs; for the first 14 days, it monitored only 148 dogs daily. The study observed dogs for a maximum of 6 weeks from admittance, observing all 15 behaviors at least once during the first 2 weeks (n = 148). The proportion of dogs observed to perform each behavior differed within the sample. The most commonly observed behavior (24.3% of dogs) was excessive barking. The remaining 14 behaviors ranged from listlessness (20.3%) to repetitive tail-chasing (1.3%). Over the 6 weeks, the proportion observed to pace repetitively and wall bounce increased. The proportion who lacked appetite and displayed fear-associated behavior decreased. Breed differences, gender, and age partially explained variability in the onset and prevalence of behavioral indicators of poor welfare in kenneled dogs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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