Behavioural and physiological parameters indicative of potential behaviour problems in dogs

  • Catharina Lensen

Student thesis: Doc typesDoctor of Veterinary Sciences


Dogs play a prominent role in modern society. Unfortunately, many of them develop behaviour problems at some point in life. An early identification of dogs susceptible to the development of behaviour problems would allow for preventive measures to be taken. Therefore, this PhD project investigated if an early identification of dogs with an increased risk to develop behaviour problems would be possible, and which behavioural and physiological parameters would be suitable for such a screening. Veterinarians described dog behaviour during a clinical examination, and the dogs’ behaviour and physiological responses were measured during a behavioural test at home. All these measures were compared to owner ratings of their dogs’ behaviour in daily life, both at the puppy and young adult stage. The research described in this PhD dissertation is, to our knowledge, the first longitudinal study in pet dogs, examining the relationship between behavioural and physiological data from different contexts and ages, in order to elucidate a possible association with current or future behaviour problems as described by owners.
Date of Award14 Jun 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Namur
SponsorsService public fédéral (Santé publique, sécurité de la chaîne alimentaire et environnement) & SPW Service public de Wallonie
SupervisorClaire Diederich (Supervisor), Christel P H Moons (Supervisor), Benoit Muylkens (Jury), Sylvie Daminet (Jury), Anne McBride (Jury) & Marc Vandenheede (Jury)


  • dog
  • personality
  • behaviour
  • physiology
  • predict

Attachment to an Research Institute in UNAMUR


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