Prevalence, comorbidity, and breed differences in canine anxiety in 13,700 Finnish pet dogs

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Salonen , M , Sulkama , S , Mikkola , S , Puurunen , J , Hakanen , E , Tiira , K , Araujo , C & Lohi , H 2020 , ' Prevalence, comorbidity, and breed differences in canine anxiety in 13,700 Finnish pet dogs ' , Scientific Reports , vol. 10 , no. 1 , 2962 . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-59837-z

Title: Prevalence, comorbidity, and breed differences in canine anxiety in 13,700 Finnish pet dogs
Author: Salonen, Milla; Sulkama, Sini; Mikkola, Salla; Puurunen, Jenni; Hakanen, Emma; Tiira, Katriina; Araujo, César; Lohi, Hannes
Contributor organization: Helsinki One Health (HOH)
Department of Medical and Clinical Genetics
Veterinary Biosciences
Departments of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Hannes Tapani Lohi / Principal Investigator
Date: 2020-03-05
Language: eng
Number of pages: 11
Belongs to series: Scientific Reports
ISSN: 2045-2322
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-59837-z
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/317029
Abstract: Behaviour problems and anxieties in dogs decrease their quality of life and may lead to relinquishment or euthanasia. Considering the large number of pet dogs and the commonness of these problematic behaviours, a better understanding of the epidemiology and related molecular and environmental factors is needed. We have here studied the prevalence, comorbidity, and breed specificity of seven canine anxiety-like traits: noise sensitivity, fearfulness, fear of surfaces and heights, inattention/impulsivity, compulsion, separation related behaviour and aggression with an online behaviour questionnaire answered by dog owners. Our results show that noise sensitivity is the most common anxiety-related trait with a prevalence of 32% in 13,700 Finnish pet dogs. Due to the high prevalence of noise sensitivity and fear, they were the most common comorbidities. However, when comparing the relative risk, the largest risk ratios were seen between hyperactivity/inattention, separation related behaviour and compulsion, and between fear and aggression. Furthermore, dog breeds showed large differences in prevalence of all anxiety-related traits, suggesting a strong genetic contribution. As a result, selective breeding focusing on behaviour may reduce the prevalence of canine anxieties. Anxious animals may suffer from chronic stress and thus, modified breeding policies could improve the welfare of our companion dogs.
Subject: 413 Veterinary science
1184 Genetics, developmental biology, physiology
GERMAN-SHEPHERD DOGS
RISK-FACTORS
BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS
QUESTIONNAIRE SURVEY
PREDICTIVE-VALIDITY
COMPULSIVE DISORDER
SEPARATION ANXIETY
GENETIC-ANALYSIS
TEMPERAMENT
PERSONALITY
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion


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