• 1. Fumarola AJ, With best friends like us who needs enemies? The phenomenon of the puppy mill, the failure of legal regimes to manage it, and the positive prospects of animal rights. Buffalo Environ Law J. 1999; 6:253289.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2. Serpell J, Jagoe JA, Early experience and the development of behavior. Serpell J, The domestic dog: its evolution, behavior and interactions with people. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1995; 79102.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3. Bennett PC, Rohlf VI, Owner-companion dog interactions: relationships between demographic variables, potentially problematic behaviors, training engagement and shared activities. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 2007; 102:6584.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4. Mugford RA, Canine behavioral therapy. Serpell J, The domestic dog: its evolution, behavior and interactions with people. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1995; 139152.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5. Pierantoni L, Albertini M, Pirrone F, Prevalence of owner-reported behaviors in dogs separated from the litter at two different ages. Vet Rec. 2011; 169:468474.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6. Gaultier E, Bonnafous L, Vienet-Legue Det al., Efficacy of dog-appeasing pheromone in reducing stress associated with social isolation in newly adopted puppies. Vet Rec. 2008; 163:7380.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7. Taylor K, Mills DS, A placebo-controlled study to investigate the effect of dog appeasing pheromone and other environmental and management factors on the reports of disturbance and house soiling during the night in recently adopted puppies (Canis familiaris. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 2007; 105:358368.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8. Hunte Corp. Available at: www.nal.usda.gov/awic/pubs/Legislat/awafin.shtml. Accessed Jun 4, 2011.

  • 9. USDA. Final rules: animal welfare; 9 CFR parts 1 and 2. Available at: www.nal.usda.gov/awic/pubs/Legislat/awafin.shtml. Accessed Jun 4, 2011.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 10. USDA. Animal welfare reports and electronic freedom of information frequent requests. Available at: www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/efoia. Accessed Feb 8, 2012.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11. McMillan FD, Duffy DL, Serpell JA, Mental health of dogs formerly used as ‘breeding stock’ in commercial breeding establishments. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 2011; 135:8694.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 12. Hsu Y, Serpell JA, Development and validation of a questionnaire for measuring behavior and temperament traits in pet dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2003; 223:12931300.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13. Serpell JA, Hsu Y, Effects of breed, sex, and neuter status on trainability in dogs. Anthrozoos. 2005; 18:196207.

  • 14. Duffy DL, Hsu Y, Serpell JA, Breed differences in canine aggression. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 2008; 114:441460.

  • 15. Van den Berg SM, Heuven HCM, Van den Berg Let al., Evaluation of the C-BARQ as a measure of stranger-directed aggression in three common dog breeds. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 2010; 124:136141.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 16. Dohoo I, Martin W, Stryhn H, Veterinary epidemiologic research. 2nd ed. Charlottetown, PE, Canada: VER Inc, 2009.

  • 17. StataCorp. Stata 11 base reference manual. College Station, Tex: Stata Press, 2009; 242278.306355.

  • 18. Beerda B, Schilder MB, van Hooff JAet al., Chronic stress in dogs subjected to social and spatial restriction. I. Behavioral responses. Physiol Behav. 1999; 66:233242.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 19. Beerda B, Schilder MB, Bernadina Wet al., Chronic stress in dogs subjected to social and spatial restriction. II. Hormonal and immunological response. Physiol Behav. 1999; 66:243254.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 20. Stephen JM, Ledger RA, An audit of behavioral indicators of poor welfare in kenneled dogs in the United Kingdom. J Appl Anim Welf Sci. 2005; 8:7996.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 21. Taylor KD, Mills DS, The effect of the kennel environment on canine welfare: a critical review of experimental studies. Anim Welf. 2007; 16:435447.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 22. Tuber DS, Miller DD, Caris KAet al., Dogs in animal shelters: problems, suggestions, and needed expertise. Psychol Sci. 1999; 10:379386.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 23. Wells DL, Graham L, Hepper PG, The influence of length of time in a rescue shelter on the behavior of kennelled dogs. Anim Welf. 2002; 11:317325.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 24. Hughes HC, Campbell S, Kenney C, The effects of cage size and pair housing on exercise of Beagle dogs. Lab Anim Sci. 1989; 39:302305.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 25. Hubrecht RC, A comparison of social and environmental enrichment methods for laboratory housed dogs. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 1993; 37:345361.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 26. Morgan KN, Tromborg CT, Sources of stress in captivity. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 2007; 102:262302.

  • 27. Scott JP, Fuller JL, Genetics and the social behavior of the dog. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1965.

  • 28. Braastad BO, Effects of prenatal stress on behavior of offspring of laboratory and farmed mammals. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 1998; 61:159180.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 29. Clarke AS, Schneider ML, Prenatal stress has long-term effects on behavioral responses to stress in juvenile rhesus monkeys. Dev Psychobiol. 1993; 26:293304.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 30. Lehmann J, Stöhr T, Feldon J, Long-term effects of prenatal stress experience and postnatal maternal separation on emotionality and attentional processes. Behav Brain Res. 2000; 107:133144.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 31. Edwards VJ, Holden GW, Felitti VJet al., Relationship between multiple forms of childhood maltreatment and adult mental health in community respondents: results from the adverse childhood experiences study. Am J Psychiatry. 2003; 160:14531460.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 32. Ladd CO, Huot RL, Thrivikraman KVet al., Long-term behavioral and neuroendocrine adaptations to adverse early experience. Mayer EA, Saper CB, Progress in brain research: the biological basis for mind body interactions. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2000; 81103.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 33. Gunnar M, Quevedo K, The neurobiology of stress and development. Annu Rev Psychol. 2007; 58:145173.

  • 34. Tanapat P, Hastings NB, Rydel TAet al., Exposure to fox odor inhibits cell proliferation in the hippocampus of adult rats via an adrenal hormone-dependent mechanism. J Comp Neurol. 2001; 437:496504.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 35. Dettling AC, Feldon J, Pryce CR, Early deprivation and behavioral and physiological responses to separation/novelty in the marmoset. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2002; 73:259269.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 36. Fox MW, Stelzner D, Behavioral effects of differential early experience in the dog. Anim Behav. 1966; 14:273281.

  • 37. Saetre P, Strandberg E, Sundgren PEet al., The genetic contribution to canine personality. Genes Brain Behav. 2006; 5:240248.

  • 38. Svartberg K, Breed-typical behavior in dogs—historical remnants or recent constructs?. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 2006; 96:293313.

  • 39. Horwitz DF, Neilson JC, Blackwell's five-minute veterinary consult clinical companion—canine and feline behavior. Ames, Iowa: Blackwell Publishing, 2007.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Advertisement

Differences in behavioral characteristics between dogs obtained as puppies from pet stores and those obtained from noncommercial breeders

View More View Less
  • 1 Best Friends Animal Society, 5001 Angel Canyon Rd, Kanab, UT 84741.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Studies-Philadelphia, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Studies-Philadelphia, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • | 4 Department of Health Management, Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, PE C1A 4P3, Canada
  • | 5 Department of Health Management, Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, PE C1A 4P3, Canada

Abstract

Objective—To compare the owner-reported prevalence of behavioral characteristics in dogs obtained as puppies from pet stores with that of dogs obtained as puppies from noncommercial breeders.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—Dogs obtained as puppies from pet stores (n = 413) and breeder-obtained dogs (5,657).

Procedures—Behavioral evaluations were obtained from a large convenience sample of current dog owners with the online version of the Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire, which uses ordinal scales to rate either the intensity or frequency of the dogs’ behavior. Hierarchic linear and logistic regression models were used to analyze the effects of source of acquisition on behavioral outcomes when various confounding and intervening variables were controlled for.

Results—Pet store–derived dogs received significantly less favorable scores than did breeder-obtained dogs on 12 of 14 of the behavioral variables measured; pet store dogs did not score more favorably than breeder dogs in any behavioral category. Compared with dogs obtained as puppies from noncommercial breeders, dogs obtained as puppies from pet stores had significantly greater aggression toward human family members, unfamiliar people, and other dogs; greater fear of other dogs and nonsocial stimuli; and greater separation-related problems and house soiling.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Obtaining dogs from pet stores versus noncommercial breeders represented a significant risk factor for the development of a wide range of undesirable behavioral characteristics. Until the causes of the unfavorable differences detected in this group of dogs can be specifically identified and remedied, the authors cannot recommend that puppies be obtained from pet stores.

Contributor Notes

Supported by a grant from the Animal Welfare Trust.

Address correspondence to Dr. McMillan (dr.frank@bestfriends.org).