Assessing efficiency of a Human Familiarisation and Training Programme on fearfulness and aggressiveness of military dogs

Anouck Haverbeke, Caroline Rzepa, Eric Depiereux, Jan Deroo, Jean Marie Giffroy, Claire Diederich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

It has been shown that Belgian military working dogs exhibit fearful and aggressive behaviour towards human and unknown environment. This study aims to assess the effects of a Human Familiarisation and Training Programme (HFTP: based on positive and frequent dog-handler interactions and training) on fearfulness and aggressiveness of military working dogs. Authors predicted that an Experimental Group of dogs submitted to this HFTP (=EG dogs) would be less fearful and aggressive during a standardised aggression test than a Control Group of dogs (CG dogs). Higher posture, less yawning and less aggressive behaviours were observed among EG dogs. Authors interpreted those differences in fearfulness and aggressive behaviour as a positive effect of this HFTP on dog's welfare and concluded that this HFTP induced a better working dog-handler relationship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-149
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume123
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2010

Keywords

  • Behavioural test
  • Enrichment programme
  • Fear-related aggressive behaviour
  • Working dogs

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