Validation of a qualitative behaviour score during the capture phase of stray dogs

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Laura Menchetti
Cecilia Righi
Gabriella Guelfi
Claudia Enas
Livia Moscati
Stefania Mancini
Silvana Diverio

Abstract

There are no studies on the capture phase of stray dogs, although this can be very stressful and have a significant impact on dogs’ welfare. In this preliminary study, we propose a simple qualitative evaluation system of the dog’s behaviour during the capture phase. The assessments of the Animal Control Officers (ACO) were compared with qualitative and quantitative evaluations carried out by two Testers to verify their reliability and validity. The agreements and correlation analysis showed that the qualitative score of the Testers was reliable and valid. Conversely, the scores attributed by the ACO were not in agreement and not consistent with the behavioural observations of the Testers. These results suggest that the ACO did not have the necessary familiarity with behavioural assessments. It should also be considered that the Testers made their observations in a different context, and the dog can react differently to different stressors according to his personality and past experiences. In conclusion, the qualitative assessments during the capture phase require implementations and further investigations.

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Conference Paper