The Use of the DAP® Collar to Reduce Stress During Training of Police Dogs (Canis familiaris): A Preliminary Study
In Austria, police dogs are given to their owners as puppies at 8 weeks of age. For the first one and a half years, the dog lives with the family and receives a basic education. After this basic education, when they are 16 to 22 months of age, police dogs start an intensive training course for 15 weeks. During this training course, which is held at a special training center, the dogs stay in kennels, separated from their owners at night. During the working days, the dogs are trained extensively in various environments. This training course is therefore very stressful for both owners and dogs. According to trainers and owners during previous courses in past years, the most prevalent signs of stress were: excessive barking and howling at night (in some cases, the whole night), increasing excitement, fatigue, lack of concentration at work, weight loss, diarrhea, and salivation. Isolation and social separation from familiar humans in a novel environment is considered a stressful event for a highly social species such as dogs. (Tuber et al 1996). The leader of the training center was interested in investigating solutions to reduce the stress on dogs during training with two considerations in mind; the well-being of the dogs and their owners, and the improvement of the performance of these highly valuable dog-human-teams,. The Ministry of Internal Affairs approved and financed an experimental study with dog appeasing pheromone. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of the dog appeasing pheromone in a new galenic form – as DAP® collar – on stress symptoms during the basic training course. The hypothesis of the study is that dogs with the DAP® collar will show less stress symptoms than dogs with the placebo.
Schroll, S., Dehasse, J., Palme, R., Sommerfeld-Stur, I., & Lowenstein, G. (2005). The use of DAP collar to reduce stress during training of Police Dogs. VET-Magazin.com. Retrieved March 13, 2022, from https://vet-magazin.com/wissenschaft/tier-verhaltensmedizin-verhaltensforschung/verhaltensforschung/DAP-collar.html
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Topic(s): Environment, Environmental Management and Monitoring, Research and Teaching, Temperature, Humidity & Ventilation