Dog behaviours in veterinary consultations: Part I. Effect of the owner's presence or absence


  • Girault C
  • Priymenko Nathalie
  • Helsly M
  • Duranton C
  • Gaunet F


  • Dog Behaviour
  • Owner Presence
  • Owner Absence
  • Stress
  • Veterinary Consultation

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Veterinary practices can be stressful places for dogs. Decreasing stress during veterinary consultations is therefore a major concern, since animal welfare matters both for owners and veterinarians. Stress can be expressed through behaviour modifications; monitoring dogs’ behaviour is thus one way to assess stress levels. We also know that the owner can affect dog behaviour in different ways. The aim of this study was therefore to assess the effect of the presence of owners on the behaviour of their dogs in veterinary consultations. We studied dogs-owner dyads at two standardised veterinary consultations, conducted at intervals of five to seven weeks; the owner was present for the first consultation and absent for the second (O/NoO group, n= 12), or vice versa (NoO/O group, n= 13). A consultation consisted in three phases: exploration, examination, greeting. Dog behaviours were compared between the two conditions using a video recording.

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