Alleviation of separation distress in 3 breeds of young dogs

Dev Psychobiol. 1977 Jul;10(4):373-81. doi: 10.1002/dev.420100413.


Twenty-four puppies (8 each of Shetland sheepdogs, Telomians, and beagles) served as subjects in this experiment which was designed to examine the effectiveness of 12 stimulus conditions (food, toys, canine contact, and human contact) on alleviation of separation-induced distress vocalization. Testing consisted of a prestimulus trial, stimulus trial, and post-stimulus trial each session 3 times a week from 4 to 8 weeks after birth. Overall results showed human contact to be the most effective, followed by canine contact, toys, and food. Breed differences were significant in only 2 of the stimulus conditions. In the typical case of effective treatment, the vocalization rate declined from the prestimulus trial to a low point in the stimulus trial and then increased again in the post-stimulus trial.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Discrimination, Psychological
  • Dogs*
  • Environment
  • Food
  • Maternal Deprivation*
  • Play and Playthings
  • Social Environment
  • Species Specificity
  • Vocalization, Animal*