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Ciência Rural

versão impressa ISSN 0103-8478versão On-line ISSN 1678-4596


SAMPAIO, Rubia Avlade Guedes et al. Behavioral assessment of shelter dogs submitted to different methods of environmental enrichment. Cienc. Rural [online]. 2019, vol.49, n.1, e20180181.  Epub 31-Jan-2019. ISSN 0103-8478.

Environmental enrichment is a dynamic process consisting of a set of activities designed to meet the ethological and psychological needs of animals. It stimulates the natural behavior of each animal species improving the well-being of the individual and avoiding the development of stereotyped behaviors. The present study aimed to assess the potential benefits that four different types of environmental enrichment would bring to the quality of life of shelter dogs. Twenty dogs were observed for 6 hours daily for 5 consecutive days in the first week in order to assess and document their behavior patterns in an experimental kennel. Between the second to the fourth week, 3 forms of game and 1 type of food enrichment were used in the first 4 days of each week. On the fifth day of each week, behavioral patterns were recorded and later compiled and analyzed according to the Tukey test. Statistical analysis showed significant differences in behaviors associated with lying down, standing up, and licking. Based on our findings, we concluded that the use of environmental enrichment methods through different types of games and toys in shelters decreased signs of depression and stereotyped behavior of kennelled dogs. Results of the present study showed that these tools may help improve life quality of these animals.

Palavras-chave : well-being; animal welfare; behavior; abandoned dogs; behavioral disorders.

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