An Investigation into the Impact of Pre-Adolescent Training on Canine Behavior

Ian R Dinwoodie, Vivian Zottola, Nicholas H Dodman
2021 Animals  
An online survey about puppy training was sent to members of the Center for Canine Behavior Studies and posted on our social media platforms. Six hundred forty-one (641) qualifying owners provided information on 1023 dogs. About half (48%) of the dogs involved in the study attended puppy training and the balance (52%) did not. The goal of the study was to find out whether puppy training at various ages (1-3 months, 4 months, 5-6 months) helped prevent behavior problems later in life (≥1 year).
more » ... ttending training at 6 months of age or younger resulted in 0.71 the odds of developing aggressive behavior (95% CI: 0.53-0.97; p = 0.030), 0.64 the odds of having a compulsive behavior (95% CI: 0.45-0.92; p = 0.015), 0.60 the odds of exhibiting destructive behavior (95% CI: 0.37-0.96; p = 0.035), 0.68 the odds of excessive barking (95% CI: 0.47-0.99; p = 0.043), and 1.56 the odds of house soiling (95% CI: 1.08-2.27; p = 0.019). Ancillary findings about the entire study population were that dogs acquired at 12 weeks of age or younger were found to have 0.65 the odds of fear/anxiety (95% CI: 0.46-0.92; p = 0.016) and 0.50 the odds of exhibiting destructive behavior (95% CI: 0.31-0.79; p = 0.003). In addition, male dogs were found to have 0.68 the odds of developing aggressive behavior (95% CI: 0.53-0.88; p = 0.003), 0.66 the odds of developing compulsive behavior (95% CI: 0.49-0.88; p = 0.006), 0.37 the odds of mounting/humping (95% CI: 0.26-0.52; p < 0.001), and 1.53 the odds of rolling in repulsive materials (95% CI: 1.18-1.97; p = 0.001). Neutered dogs of either sex were found to have 3.10 the odds of fear/anxiety (95% CI: 2.05-4.72; p < 0.001), 1.97 the odds of escaping/running away (95% CI: 1.12-3.69; p = 0.025), 2.01 the odds of exhibiting coprophagia (95% CI 1.30-3.19; p = 0.002), and 1.72 the odds of rolling in repulsive materials (95% CI: 1.12-2.66; p = 0.014). The odds of problematic jumping deceased by 0.84 for each 1-year increase in age (95% CI: 0.80-0.88; p < 0.001).
doi:10.3390/ani11051298 pmid:33946497 fatcat:ys36nphbozgkvfyyfdpkxaxmxq