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. 2014 May;56(4):726-33.
doi: 10.1002/dev.21141. Epub 2013 Sep 6.

The Behavioral and Endocrinological Development of Stress Response in Dogs

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The Behavioral and Endocrinological Development of Stress Response in Dogs

Miho Nagasawa et al. Dev Psychobiol. .

Abstract

Endocrinological stress response has been shown to be absent in a specific period of the early life of rodents; this is named the stress-hyporesponsive period (SHRP). The SHRP is a significant period for the appropriate development of infants. In this study, the presence of SHRP in dogs was identified by conducting a 5-min separation test in 142 Labrador retriever puppies in their early socialization period and measuring the changes in urinary cortisol levels. An increase in cortisol after separation was found after 5 weeks of age, suggesting that the SHRP persists until 4 weeks of age in dogs. The distress vocalization during separation changed and the lactating behavior decreased rapidly around 5 weeks of age, suggesting that the endocrinological and emotional aspects of development change at approximately 5 weeks of age and maternal inhibition of cortisol might occur in dogs as well as rodents.

Keywords: cortisol; dog; maternal behavior; stress-hyporesponsive period; vocalization.

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