The study reveals possible causes of the dog’s repetitive behavior

In the picture: Long, obsessive paw licking can be stereotypical or compulsive behavior

The Repetitive behavior Dogs may be related to such actions Chasing the tailBite on the back of the legs and body, but looking at the shadows, chasing a reflection of light or barking in a rhythmic and obligatory manner.

To understand the risk factors associated with repetitive behavior, a team of researchers at the University of Helsinki conducted a study analyzing 4,436 dogs that lived in different contexts and identified the presence of repetitive behavior in 16% of the 22 different breeds.

The results make it a highlight Greater trend Repetitive behavior in large families of dogs or those who have never welcomed a dog before, or if during the day, they have less than an hour of motor activity on average during the day.

In addition, research has found a high probability Proposing repetitive behavior by certain races And he investigated other factors that, in contrast, do not in any way affect the frequency of these particular aspects of behavior, such as the differences between the urban and rural living environment and the size of the dog.

By identifying these factors, researchers believe that there is an opportunity for development Strategies to reduce the frequency of discomfort On the basis of repetitive behaviors, interventions in prevention and with the help of future studies on the genetics of the most susceptible species of these behaviors.

“This study, in fact, gives scientific support to what was a strong suspicion for now – explains Luka Spennacio, dog trainer and member of the scientific committee at Kodami – however, this does not mean that it is not a significant evolution because Scientific evidence provides additional value to the work of canine instructors And the conversation between the world of science and dog lovers is growing, which is sometimes still a long way off. “

They often show what repetitive behavior is and what a race is

The Repetitive behavior It can be caused by a Stereo (Repetition of motor pattern without apparent purpose or function), or from one Compulsory behavior (Repetition of inappropriate behavior aimed at achieving results).

“Often it is a manifestation of pain caused by pathology or discomfort caused by an uncomfortable and ineffective genetic selection for the offspring – Spennacchio adds – however, these can also be manifestations of anxiety states indicated by unresolved stress from which the dog fails to get out.”

For breeds, according to Finnish research, especially German Shepherds, Chinese Crested Dogs, Welsh Corgi Pembroke and Staffordshire Bull Terriers are more prone to repetitive behavior.

Only in Kodami did we publish an article exploring a recent case study on a German Shepherd who, with the support of an interdepartmental team and the continued support of his family, was able to overcome the stereotype of the tail chasing he entered.

Possibility of displaying repetitive behaviors based on race
In the picture: Possibility of displaying repetitive behaviors based on race

One of the immediate findings from the Helsinki study is that these are dogs that often have a Marked reactivity. Another factor that researchers have found to be a conditioner in the development of stereotypes and compulsive behavior is, in fact, what they define. Hyperactivity And which, in turn, is precisely associated with emotion.

“I find it very interesting that breeds that show a low rate of repetitive behavior include, for example, lagooti or a breed that has less stress on aesthetics, thus keeping itself healthy – adds dog trainers – Shepherds German and Chinese Crested. Doug, who is surprisingly not at the top of this ranking, is often chosen instead in an uncontrolled way and perhaps with less attention. Towards their physical and mental well-being

Greater hyperactivity where repetitive behavior increases
In the picture: Greater hyperactivity where repetitive behavior increases

Influence of family experience, presence of other dogs and physical activity

A further analysis conducted in the Finnish study raises concerns about the interrelationship between repetitive behavior and belief, revealing by a pet partner that one’s dog is “aggressive”.

In fact, as part of the study, participating families were asked to answer some questions about it The personality of the dogAssign a score from 1 to 6 for some features selected by the researchers.

The pet partner's experience, the number of dogs in the family, and the amount of daily activity affect the likelihood of recurrent behavior.
In the picture: The pet partner’s experience, the number of dogs in the family, and the amount of daily activity affect the likelihood of recurrent behavior.

While it is not correct to define an aggressive person, it is sufficient to speak more specifically about the expression of aggressive behavior, this particular factor can be an important food for thought.

According to the answer received from the family, in fact, this dog very often They do not have more than one hour of motor activity available every dayLive in an inexperienced family or in a particularly large family unit.

These three factors, in fact, have nothing to do with the genetics of the animal but instead are associated with external variables, related fields, and their own reference is strongly conditioned by humans.

“If we combine behavioral balance changes, as we have seen from an unscrupulous selection of breeds, it is normal to live with an inexperienced family that increases the frequency of situations where the dog feels uncomfortable – explains Spanacchio – this element shows how important it is. Know in advance which variety you want to adopt Dogs need both as an individual and as a breed.

To increase the repetitive behavior of dogs living in large families, this is probably the most, according to experts A signal about human lifestyle Dog reflection.

“We can’t be sure, and in this case we’re talking about conjecture, but it’s easy to imagine that where many people live together, the style of communication also increases – explains Spennacchio – meaning that the dog will probably face More inconsistencies and less precision need to be respected in the group. Also, let’s not forget that insanity also increases where there are more people and the rhythms are often tighter. If the dog is with only one person, however, the climate is probably more relaxed, the rules clearer, and the pet partner is more willing to live all moments with his or her dog partner, thus reducing moments of loneliness or exclusion from the group. “

The environment around us has less value than our lifestyle

Finally, the results of the study found no difference in the frequency of repetitive behaviors between urban dogs and those living in rural environments.

“I am not surprised by the results,” added Spennacchio. The way we treat the dogs we live with determines their quality of life More important than the mere availability of the external environment that dogs often do not know what to do without us ».

According to experts, ultimately, these results also provide an opportunity for oneAnthropological analysis What about, in modern society, we are willing to offer dogs living with us. “We must not forget that the dog is one Social animals, A lover of exploration who is eagerly waiting to be able to be a partner in our lives – concludes Spennacchio – the resilience he needs to live a life of turmoil for 23 hours a day is truly exaggerated. In addition to the important consequences of our actions on genetics, we should ask ourselves more often about the lifestyle we can offer them.

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