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Abstract: Effects of surgical and chemical sterilization on the behavior of free-roaming male dogs

A recent study by E. Garde, G.E. Pérez, R Vanderstichel, P.F. Dalla Villa, and J.A. Serpell and published in November 2015 in Preventive Veterinary Medicine, furthers our understanding of the behavioral effects of sterilization. The study’s abstract is presented here. Population management of free-roaming domestic dogs (Canis

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A recent study by E. Garde, G.E. Pérez, R Vanderstichel, P.F. Dalla Villa, and J.A. Serpell and published in November 2015 in Preventive Veterinary Medicine, furthers our understanding of the behavioral effects of sterilization. The study’s abstract is presented here. Population management of free-roaming domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) is of interest due to the threat these animals pose to people, other animals and the environment. Current sterilization procedures for male dogs include surgical and chemical methods. However, little is known about how these procedures affect their behavior. The primary objective of this study was to investigate changes in selected behaviors following chemical and surgical sterilization in a male free-roaming dog (FRD) population in southern Chile. We also examined the association between serum testosterone levels and behaviors thought to be influenced by circulating androgens. A total of 174 dogs were randomly assigned to either a surgical or chemical sterilization group, or a control group. At the onset of the intervention period, 119 dogs remained and 102 dogs successfully completed the study. Each dog was monitored pre- and post-intervention using video recordings, GPS collars, and blood samples for the measurement of testosterone. Analysis of behavior revealed that surgically castrated dogs showed no reduction of sexual activity or aggression when compared to their pre-intervention behavior. Chemically sterilized dogs showed a statistically significant increase in dog-directed aggression, but no change in sexual activity. There was no change in home range size in any groups between the pre- and post-intervention measurement. We found no consistent association between levels of serum testosterone concentration and behavioral changes in any of the groups. This study presents the first detailed behavioral observations following surgical and chemical sterilization in male FRDs. The information generated is highly relevant to communities struggling with the control of FRDs. Complementary studies to further our understanding of the effects of male sterilization on the behavioral and reproductive dynamics of FRD populations are needed.

In this excerpt from her pet behavior advice column, Dr. Megan Maxwell encourages pet owners to find opportunities to reward desirable behavior in their pets using natural reinforcers in daily routines. New Beginnings With the dawn of a new year often comes the embrace of new personal

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Have you taken your dog for a sniff today?

A recent blog post from Dr. Patricia McConnell, CAAB, on the importance of letting your dog stop to smell the roses! http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/take-your-dog-on-a-sniff

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Book Summary: How Dogs Learn

Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist Dr. Mary Burch provides this summary of her book, How Dogs Learn, for the National Animal Interest Alliance. This book remains an excellent resource for any pet behavior professional’s library! http://www.naiaonline.org/articles/article/how-dogs-learn1#sthash.kiIf3Hxc.dpbs

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Letter from Dr. Sally Foote

A visit to cattle dog publishing- the legacy of Dr Sophia Yin 12/4/2015 I had a wonderful opportunity to travel to Davis, California this November and visit the offices and staff of Cattle Dog Publishing founded by Dr Sophia Yin. Dr Yin and I knew each other

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Trainers Ring

Here Come the Holidays! Nothing rings in the holiday season like including the animals in our lives into our celebrations and gift-giving activities. Tis the season for increased hustling around while visiting family and friends, and purchasing those special new treats, toys, and gear for our animal family

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Diplomate Department Announcement

The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB; www.dacvb.org) is pleased to announce the 2016 Veterinary Behavior Symposium (VBS).  The 2016 VBS will be held on Friday, August 5, 2016, immediately preceding the AVMA Annual Convention in San Antonio, Texas, USA. The meeting focus is on cutting-edge, original research in

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Resident Rounds

Fall is a good time to be in California! This September, ten behavior residents had the opportunity to attend a week-long course focused on food animal behavior and welfare hosted and organized by Dr. Melissa Bain DACVB, DACAW at UC Davis. The residents had the opportunity to learn from members

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Comparing OCD in Humans and Dogs

In this National Geographic article, an MRI study of OCD in dogs is discussed and strategies for addressing OCD are offered by Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist Dr. Jill Goldman. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/06/130610-ocd-dogs-health-animals-science-brains/

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Social Conflict between Household Cats

Dr. Debra Horwitz contributes the most recent blog post to Psychology Today’s Decoding your Pet series. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/decoding-your-pet/201512/social-conflict-between-household-cats

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