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Norling, Anna-Yezica (2008) Hunden i kontorsmiljö. Other thesis, SLU.

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Abstract

Deciding what to do with the dog during working hours is a problem that many dog owners are faced with. One possible solution is to bring the dog to work, for example the office. It is, however, not known how this environment and the everyday events and situations there affect the welfare of the dogs. The aim of this project was to study how the dog is affected by commonly occurring situations when at the owner at work in an office environment. The subjects were 12 privately owned dogs which routinely accompanied their owners to the office at the University of Agricultural Sciences. Dogs and owners were filmed in the office during four different treatments. Behaviours were analyzed separately, but some were also grouped in physically active (in motion), mentally active (in motion, or not moving but focused) and behaviours often suggested to indicate arousal (yawn, lick, shake and stretch). Numbers of transitions between different states (how often the dog switched body position and/or switched between different activities) were recorded. The four 30 minute treatments were: I) Control; dog and owner together, telephone rings II) Separation and Return; owner leaves dog and returns for short visits repeatedly III) Alone; the dog is alone for 20 minutes with disturbances: an unfamiliar dog passes the doorway, and a sudden noise is heard IV) Visitors; two minute visits from two unfamiliar persons, one enthusiastic and contact seeking (E), and one neutral which ignores the dog (N). Results of this study show that even though there were individual differences, dogs' reactions in the different situations were mild. Overall mean values show that dogs on average spent 89.5% of the time lying down. Very little barking occurred. During Control treatment dogs were least active. The Visitor treatment caused an increased mental activity (P<0.05), which in large part could be explained by physically dynamic behaviour such as the dog moving around to interact with visitors. This treatment also elicited high frequencies of indicators of arousal (P<0.05) and caused an increased number of posture changes (P<0.05). Also in Separation and Return, mental activity increased (P<0.05), but the average dog was to a larger proportion physically stationary during their mental behaviour, i e the dog was not as much in motion but focused on the environment, such as the owner and doorway. Variation in mental activity was large in the treatment Alone, indicating that dogs coped with being left for 20 minutes in different ways. Some were physically active; others were static but still mentally active, while some showed little reaction. There was a tendency (P=0.055) for dogs to be located near the door to a greater extent when the owner was absent (15.2% time) compared to present (4.5%). As expected, the enthusiastic visitor elicited much stronger reactions than the neutral. Out of 12 dogs, 11 interacted with visitor E, but only 3 with visitor N. Although both visitors caused reactions initially, visitor E had both a significantly larger (P<0.05) and more long-lasting effect even after the visit. It is unclear if these effects could have a negative impact on the dog, or if they can function as a stimulating enrichment. An unfamiliar dog passing caused increased intensities of restlessness (P<0.05) and mental activity (P<0.01), while the only reaction to the noise was that HR increased initially (P<0.01) probably indicating that there was an element of surprise, from which the dog quickly recovered. Results do not show any clear indications that bringing the dog to the office would affect the welfare of the dog. To consider the character of and the effects on the individual dog is a crucial key when determining whether to bring the dog to the office or not.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Keywords: hund, dog, kontor, office, kontorsmiljö, beteende, behaviour
Subject (faculty): Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science > Dept. of Animal Enviroment and Health
Divisions: SLU > Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
Depositing User: Gunilla Jacobsson
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2008
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2015 10:02
URI: http://ex-epsilon.slu.se/id/eprint/2432

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