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Bladh , Elin, 2011. Fysiologi och beteende hos golden retriever i hemmiljö och under en testsituation . Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry



To fit into our society the dogs of today need a good mentality. To investigate their mentality
different behavior tests have been developed. The tests are useful tools in the selection of
breeding animals as well as for working and companion dogs. To counter the demand for a
test that could be suited for all kind of dogs, regardless of their future function, the mentality
test Beteende- och personlighetsbeskrivning hund (BPH) was developed. BPH consists of
seven subtests that expose dogs to various situations that can be found in everyday life, such
as meeting an unfamiliar person, sudden noises and suddenly appearing objects.

The aim of this study was to find out if there are differences in physiological values between
individuals, validate the behavior observations during BPH and get aware of how the dogs
experience the situation. This was done by analyzing the physiological variables heart rate
and urinary concentrations of adrenaline, noradrenaline, cortisol, testosterone and serotonin in
nine male dogs of the breed Golden Retriever. The measurements were carried out at home
and before, during and after BPH. The heart rate was measured with a heart rate monitor
attached to the dogs during BPH and the following day and night. The concentrations of
hormones (hormone/creatinine ratio) were analyzed in seven naturally voided urine samples
from each dog.

Individual differences between the dogs were found in this study. The differences were larger
during the test compared to the home environment, which indicates that some individuals
were more affected by the test than others. The heart rate increased during the test but did not
exceed the maximum value at home. This indicates that the test causes no strain that cannot be
found in everyday life. The concentration of adrenalin was significant higher during the test
compared with home. Noradrenalin increased significantly at the end of the test. Cortisol
tended to be higher during the test and the concentration of testosteron was significant higher
during the last part of the test. For serotonin no significant differences were found between
the urine samples but individual differences between dogs were found. The results also show
associations between hormone concentrations in urine and different behaviors in dogs. The
correlation analysis indicated that dogs with higher amount of serotonin in the urine reacted
more defensive compared to the dogs with lower urinary serotonin that instead appeared to be
more offensive in their reactions. Individuals with higher amounts of serotonin tended to be
more active than dogs with lower concentrations, the dogs with higher amount of cortisol
tended to overcome surprising situations faster than dogs with lower concentrations.

In conclusion, associations between physiological values and behavior in dogs were found in
this study. Further research in this area may be of interest and could be useful in the future
since more knowledge about how hormones and behavior interact might enable early
prediction of which dogs that are appropriate for a specific task.

Main title:Fysiologi och beteende hos golden retriever i hemmiljö och under en testsituation
Authors:Bladh , Elin
Supervisor:Sandberg , Eva
Examiner:Dahlborn , Kristina
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2011
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:VY001 Agricultural Science Programme - Animal Science 270 HEC
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry
Keywords:adrenalin, beteende, BPH, fysiologi, hjärtfrekvens, hormoner, hund, kortisol, noradrenalin, serotonin, testosteron, urin
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Animal husbandry
Animal physiology and biochemistry
Deposited On:29 Jun 2011 11:50
Metadata Last Modified:20 Apr 2012 14:21

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