About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Study Provides Insight into Dogs' Fear of Noises

by Sheela Philomena on February 20, 2013 at 1:24 PM
Font : A-A+

 Study Provides Insight into Dogs' Fear of Noises

A recent study provides fresh insight into why dogs fear noise and could improve our understanding of behavioural signs of fear or anxiety.

In the study by academics from the School of Veterinary Sciences at the University of Bristol, and funded by the RSPCA, two approaches were taken to investigate the occurrence of, and risk factors for, these behaviours - a postal survey of dog owners to investigate general demographic factors and a structured interview of a sub-set of owners to gather more detailed information.

Advertisement

Almost half of the owners who were interviewed reported that their dog showed at least one behavioural sign typical of fear when exposed to noises such as fireworks, thunder and gunshots, even though only a quarter had reported their dog as 'fearful' of noises.

This suggests that whilst they are aware of their pet's behavioural response when exposed to a loud noise, owners do not necessarily recognise this as being indicative of fear or anxiety.
Advertisement

This has relevance both for awareness of compromised welfare, and the methodology for surveying such behaviour.

The most commonly reported behavioural signs were vocalising, trembling/shaking, hiding, vocalising and seeking people.

It is thought trembling and shaking are more often reported by owners than other behaviours because they are similar to fearful behaviours in humans.

Other behavioural signs, such as decreased activity or salivation, may not be as easily recognised by owners as signs of fear, and may be under-reported.

Also, signs of urination, salivation and destruction may make owners disappointed or angry, and this may influence their interpretation that such behaviours are associated with fearfulness.

Responses to fireworks were the most common, but fear responses to loud noises such as fireworks, gunshots and thunder appear to commonly co-occur, suggesting generalisation between salient stimuli.

The risk factors for owner-reported fear of noises included breed, although 12 breeds or breed types were less likely to show fear responses to noises than cross-breeds, including popular gundog breeds such as the Labrador, Cocker Spaniel and Springer Spaniel; age, where risk increased with age; and origin, where dogs living with the owner who bred them had a reduced risk compared to dogs purchased from the breeder by a second owner, supporting the view that an early environment that is very similar to the environment experienced in adulthood is advantageous.

The researchers suggest a dog's early life experience is an important factor in the development of fear responses to specific loud noises.

The study is published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science.

Source: ANI
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
Woman with Rare Spinal Cord Defect from Birth Sues Doctor
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Xenophobia Paranoia Resistance to Change 

Recommended Reading
Phobias
A phobia is an irrational and exaggerated fear of an object or a situation that in reality, poses .....
Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety disorder involves excessive worry about actual circumstances, events or conflicts. Anyone .....
Quiz on Anxiety Disorder
Intense fear, persistent worry, bad dreams, feelings that you may be going crazy � sounds ......
Scientists Explain Why Wolves Remain Untamed, Unlike Dogs Though They Share Similar Genes
Despite sharing similar genes wolves are untamed in nature, while dogs can gladly become "man's ......
Paranoia
Paranoia is a false belief where the individual feels unfairly targeted or persecuted by everyone el...
Resistance to Change
Change is hard so, resistance to the same is inevitable. Overcoming the resistance to change is the ...
Xenophobia
Xenophobia can be studied from two different perspectives. First as a medical condition ‘phobia’ sec...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use