Presentation Title

Does the human stress response to competitive loss influence dogs’ cortisol concentration?

Advisor Information

Rosemary Strasser

Location

UNO Criss Library, Room 232

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

7-3-2014 2:15 PM

End Date

7-3-2014 2:30 PM

Abstract

Hormones play an important role in social behavior. For example, cortisol triggers the mobilization of resources in response to stressors (e.g., being chased by a predator), but also plays a role in stressful or arousing social interactions (e.g., meeting a new individual, participating in a competition). Dogs are extraordinarily perceptive to human social behaviors. Only one study up to this point has taken into account whether humans’ hormonal changes are directly correlated with their dogs’. The aim of this study was to further explore the relationship between humans’ and dogs’ hormonal responses to competition. We assessed whether humans’ cortisol responses to competition are reflected in their dogs’ responses, and how humans’ testosterone levels may have interacted to influence this relationship. We collected data from 59 handler/dog agility teams during dog agility competitions in the Midwest. Saliva samples were taken from the dog and handler before and after a run and were later assayed for cortisol and testosterone levels. Handler-dog interactions following the competition were observed for affiliative and punitive behaviors. Participants were also given questionnaires to complete containing questions pertaining to their dog and competition-related questions. The results of this study will be presented.

This document is currently not available here.

COinS
 
Mar 7th, 2:15 PM Mar 7th, 2:30 PM

Does the human stress response to competitive loss influence dogs’ cortisol concentration?

UNO Criss Library, Room 232

Hormones play an important role in social behavior. For example, cortisol triggers the mobilization of resources in response to stressors (e.g., being chased by a predator), but also plays a role in stressful or arousing social interactions (e.g., meeting a new individual, participating in a competition). Dogs are extraordinarily perceptive to human social behaviors. Only one study up to this point has taken into account whether humans’ hormonal changes are directly correlated with their dogs’. The aim of this study was to further explore the relationship between humans’ and dogs’ hormonal responses to competition. We assessed whether humans’ cortisol responses to competition are reflected in their dogs’ responses, and how humans’ testosterone levels may have interacted to influence this relationship. We collected data from 59 handler/dog agility teams during dog agility competitions in the Midwest. Saliva samples were taken from the dog and handler before and after a run and were later assayed for cortisol and testosterone levels. Handler-dog interactions following the competition were observed for affiliative and punitive behaviors. Participants were also given questionnaires to complete containing questions pertaining to their dog and competition-related questions. The results of this study will be presented.