Behaviour 2019
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Effect of greeting and departure interactions on separation-related behaviors in newly adopted dogs
Aaron R Teixeira1, Nathaniel J Hall2. 1San Francisco SPCA, San Francisco, CA, United States; 2Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, United States

This study investigated whether high arousal/excited departures and greetings with a dog may lead to the development of increased frequency of separation-related behavior in newly adopted dogs. In experiment 1, we exposed two groups of dogs to a series of either high or low arousal human experimenter interactions. We hypothesized there would be an increase in activity, vocalizations, and time in proximity to door for the dogs in the high arousal condition compared with the low arousal condition, when left alone, and that these behaviors would increase across 10 sessions. In experiment 2, we used a survey to ask owners of dogs with, and without, canine separation anxiety about their arousal levels during arrivals and departures at home with their pet dog. We hypothesized dogs with reported canine separation anxiety would have been exposed to higher arousal levels during departures and arrivals. From both experiment 1 and 2, our results indicate that high excitement and playful levels of owners during departures and arrivals is not associated with the development of increased separation-related behavior in newly adopted dogs.