|Behavioral Enrichment for Dogs in Permanent Housing|
|Crista L Coppola1,2. 1University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, United States; 2Dog and Company Behavior Consulting, Tucson, AZ, United States
Dogs housed permanently at a palatability testing facility presented with a variety of species-typical nuisance behaviors, including attention seeking behaviors directed towards daily care staff. Attention Seeking Behaviors (ASB) included jumping up/on, demand barking and nipping/licking at clothing and arms/hands. These ASBs were observed and recorded in approximately 87% of the facility dog population. Dogs are housed in 4 wings subdivided into 4 rooms with up to 11 dogs per room, are kenneled singly overnight and at feeding time and are housed socially within room during the day with free access to outdoor yards. The Enrichment Program was implemented with two primary goals: 1) to increase individual animal welfare and 2) to reduce attention seeking behaviors. The Enrichment Program included daily and weekly behavioral enrichment assignments from four categories (natural, social, physical and mental) and began a daily rotation approximately 8 months ago. Since the implementation of this enrichment program, the prevalence of ASBs has decreased 36% and daily care staff has anecdotally noted the dogs are easier to handle and manage in general.