La Trobe

File(s) under embargo

Reason: Accepted version, 12 month embargo

4

month(s)

2

day(s)

until file(s) become available

Socialisation, Training, and Help-Seeking Specific Puppy Raising Practices That Predict Desirable Behaviours in Trainee Assistance Dog Puppies

journal contribution
posted on 15.04.2021, 00:56 by Dac Loc MaiDac Loc Mai, Tiffani HowellTiffani Howell, Pree Benton, Pauleen BennettPauleen Bennett
Puppies are often purpose-bred and carefully selected to be future assistance dog candidates. Early experiences during their stay with volunteer puppy raisers help shape their behaviour as young adults, which is an important determinant of whether they are selected for further training. Exactly how puppy raisers’ practices contribute to puppy behavioural development during this time remains unknown. The current study aimed to address this by investigating relationships between puppy raisers’ practices, various support factors, and puppy behaviour. A total of 231 puppy raisers (205 females, 25 males, 1 preferred not to say), aged between 18 and 79 years old (M = 40, SD = 18), completed an online survey. They provided demographic information, described their puppy raising practices (e.g., ‘I walk my puppy regularly even when I don't feel like doing it’, ‘I know what to do when my puppy doesn't behave’), ranked their perceived support from various sources (e.g., organisation's dog trainers, other puppy raisers, family members, and friends) and rated their puppy's behaviour (e.g., [My puppy] pulls towards unfamiliar dogs). A principal component analysis revealed that the puppy-raising practices item set was factorable, with three internally consistent subscales, i.e., Socialisation, Training, and Help-Seeking Behaviour. Stepwise linear regression showed that Socialisation and Training predicted most puppy behaviours (Trainability, General Anxiety, Adaptability, and Excitability). In turn, these two factors were predicted by support from mentors/counsellors, although mediation analyses indicated that raiser's help-seeking behaviour mediated these relationships. While further research is required, it is recommended that, to ensure optimal puppy rearing outcomes, organisations should invest resources in improving and supervising puppy raisers’ practices, particularly through promoting a help-seeking culture amongst puppy raisers and through sharing the experiences of previous puppy raisers.

Funding

This work was supported by a La Trobe University Full Fee Research Scholarship and a La Trobe University Postgraduate Research Scholarship.

History

Publication Date

01/03/2021

Journal

Applied Animal Behaviour Science

Volume

236

Article Number

105259

Pagination

1-9

Publisher

Elsevier

ISSN

0168-1591

Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.

Usage metrics

Categories

Exports