Veterinary Medicine

Open journal

ISSN 2475-1286

Correlates of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)-Like Behavior in Domestic Dogs: First Results from a Questionnaire-Based Study

Nikolai Hoppe*, Olaf R. P. Bininda-Emonds and Udo Gansloßer

Nikolai Hoppe, MSc

School of Mathematics and Science, Institute for Biology and Environmental Sciences, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Systematics and Evolutionary Biology Working Group, Carl von Ossietzky Straße 9-11, 26111 Oldenburg, Lower Saxony, Germany; E-mail: nikolai.hoppe@uni-oldenburg.de

INTRODUCTION

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral disease that is most commonly associated with and investigated in humans and in children in particular.1,2 It is characterized by a suite of symptoms that include inattention, increased motor activity, and a tendency to show an aggressive behavior or impulsivity3,4,5 and affected individuals often show poorly adjusted social behavior.6 The diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5) distinguishes three presentations of ADHD depending on the predominant symptom pattern for the past six months7: combined presentation (presence of the core features hyperactivity/impulsivity and inattention; presence of ≥6 symptoms/feature), predominantly inattentive presentation (≥6 symptoms of inattention, ≤6 symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity) and predominantly hyperactive/impulsive presentation (≥6 symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity, ≤6 symptoms of inattention). Existing research on ADHD has concentrated largely on its causes as well as on the prevention and treatment of its clinical expression.5,8,9,10 As is the case for most other human psychological diseases, ADHD has a genetic component such that specific genes increase the risks of developing the disease; however, it is also assumed that gene-environment interactions play an important role in this context.11

The recent extrapolation of ADHD research to the domestic dog, which, like humans, is a social mammal on account of which some authors have argued that this species has the potential to display aspects of human social behaviour.12 Humans and dogs also share prosocial qualities as well as maintain social bonds.13,14 Additionally, dogs and children also show some degree of similarity with regards to their association with the social environment and the behavioral responses related to it,13,15 which is of clinical relevance in the context of ADHD. Indeed, in contrast to rodent models and related laboratory experiments, dog models consider social relationship as a factor, one that was highlighted by Vas et al16 as an important factor in shaping human social relationships or in understanding the hyperactivity of children. Thus, altogether, dogs appear to provide an adequate model for (some) psychological diseases in humans, especially because the latter can affect different dog breeds.17

With regards to research on ADHD-like behavior in dogs, several studies have posited a genetic underpinning for this disease. For instance, increased activity/impulsivity values in German Shepherds are associated with a specific allele of the tyrosine hydroxylase gene TH.18 In addition, as in humans, polymorphism of the dopamine receptor gene DRD4 has been associated with aggressive or inattentive behavior in dogs as well as general nervousness.15,19,20,21 Inattentive behavior has also been associated in Belgian Shepherds (Malinois) with a polymorphism of the dopamine beta hydroxylase gene DPH or the dopamine transporter gene DAT22 and might more generally also be influenced by variants of the oxytocin receptor gene or genes of the brain opioid system in addition to epigenetic effects, which appear to be associated with behavioral patterns that are directed towards humans.23,24,25

However, in addition to genetic factors, social and physical factors also appear to have an important influence on the origin of ADHD-like behavior in dogs. In a review article based on the findings from human and laboratory animal studies, Szyf et al26 emphasized on the importance of diverse environmental factors for the brain and for triggering long-lasting behavioral changes. Social play, for example, helps juvenile mammals improve their mental and behavioral functions9 and, in their absence, a facilitation of ADHD must be assumed.27 Even the simple act of dogs playing with other dogs can help reduce separation-related behaviour.28 Moreover, early mental and physical activity helps provide shelter against neurological diseases.29 Associated with this behavioral parameter, castration with its resulting decrease in testosterone values, can evoke ADHD-like symptoms in dogs30,31 such that the age at which castration is performed plays a significant role in determining the clinical manifestation of ADHD.32 Finally, Hense33 describes the other factors closely related to hyperactivity in dogs, in particular the rearing conditions, treatment received from the owner, and the existence of stressful conditions.

In this study, a comprehensive examination of potential non-genetic factors that might influence ADHD-like behavior in dogs was undertaken. A combination of questionnaires was used which directly assessed ADHD-like behavior in dogs as well as the basic personality traits of animals (see Jones and Gosling34; Turcsán et al35) and other information from its current and past living conditions that might be relevant to the development of ADHD. Although, this study focussed on non-genetic factors, it is relevant to ask whether ADHD-like behavior was heritable on a longer, evolutionary timescale by examining the differences in its prevalence among breeds or groups of breeds (based on kennel club or genetic classifications). With a focus in particular on the breed Akita Inu, which, despite being characterized as calm,36 was described as increasingly nervous by some of the owners. Specifically, the following hypotheses were tested:

1. Social and physical factors in the environment of individual dogs influenced the degree of ADHD-like behavior exhibited by the dog.
2. The factor of castration influenced the degree of ADHD-like behavior exhibited by the dog.
3. Scores of categories of behavior in the ADHD and Personality questionnaires (motor activity or inattention; different dimensions of personality) were correlated.
4. Groups of related dog breeds differed with respect to the degree of exhibited ADHD-like behavior.
5. ADHD-like behavior in dogs is a trait that is heritable over evolutionary timescales among different dog breeds.

METHODS AND MATERIALS

Data Collection

The degree of ADHD-like behavior in different dogs (Tables 1-3) was assessed using one or more different questionnaires. The ADHD questionnaire of Vas et al16 required the dog owners to score the everyday behavior of their dogs, allowing for the collection of information about the degree of motor activity and inattentiveness of the animal in different situations. The Personality questionnaire of Turcsán et al35 measures the level of response with respect to the four distinct dimensions of the personality of the dog, namely calmness, trainability, dog sociability, and boldness, with the latter correlating to the factor extraversion in the Five Factor Model.35,37 As with the ADHD questionnaire, the Personality questionnaire represented the behavior of the dog in the terms of a score (0=behavior was unincisive, 1=behavior was distinct at a maximum).

 

Table 1: Database Collection–main Sample Information.

Individual

Breed/mongrel Age in Years Sex

Castration

1

Kromfohrländer

3

m

n

2

Mongrel 2 m

y

3

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever 2 m

n

4

Labrador Retriever 3.5 m

n

5

Pointer 2.5 m

y

6

American Hairless Terrier 1 m

n

7

Mongrel 4 m

y

8

American Pitbull Terrier 2.5 m

y

9

Entlebucher Mountain Dog 2.5 m

n

10

Boxer 3 m

11

Mongrel 2.75 m

y

12

Labrador Retriever 2 m

n

13

Leonberger 2 m

y

14

Mongrel 0.5 m

n

15

Great Swiss Mountain Dog 3.5 m

y

16

Labrador Retriever 1.5 m

n

17

Border Collie 1 m

n

18

Mongrel 3.5 m

y

19

Mongrel 9 m

y

20

Parson Russell Terrier 3.5 m

n

21

Mongrel 1 m

n

22

Vizsla 6 m

y

23

Mongrel 6.5 m

y

24

Mongrel 4 m

y

25

Mongrel 0.75 m

n

26

Australian Sheperd (miniature) 3.5 m

y

27

Labrador Retriever 1 m

n

28

Hovawart 1 m

n

29

Catalan Sheepdog 3 m

n

30

Mongrel 12.5 m

y

31

Mongrel 5 m

n

32

Mongrel 0.75 m

n

33

Doberman 2 m

y

34

Bull Terrier (miniature) 2 m

n

35

Poodle 3.5 m

y

36

Mongrel 1 m

n

37

Berger Blanc Suisse 2 m

n

38

Mongrel 2.5 m

y

39

Hunting Terrier 1.75 m

y

40

English setter 2 m

n

41

Yakutian Laika 2 m

n

42

German shepherd 4.5 f

n

43

Mongrel 1 m

n

44

Austrian Pinscher 3.5 m

y

45

Mongrel 3 m

y

46

Boxer 2 f

n

47

Parson Russel Terrier 3 m

n

48

Border Collie 1.5 m

n

49

Black Russian Terrier 1.75 m

y

50

Portuguese Podengo 4 f

y

51

Rhodesian Ridgeback 1.75 m

n

52

Australian Shepherd 4 m

n

53

Mongrel 1 f

n

54

Catalan Sheepdog 3 m

n

55

Catalan Sheepdog 5.5 m

y

56

Chihuahua 4 f

n

57

Mongrel 2 m

n

58

Border Collie 5.5 m

n

59

Mongrel 7 m

n

60

Mongrel 0.5 f

n

 

 

Table 2: Dog-School Subjects – Main Sample Information.

Individual

Breed/mongrel Age in Years Sex

Castration

1

Australian Shepherd 4 m

n

2

Cão da Serra de Aires 2 m

n

3

Mongrel 4.5 f

n

4

Irish Wolfhound 2.75 f

n

5

Mongrel 1.75 f

n

6

Mongrel 1 m

n

7

Mongrel 8 f

y

8

Mongrel 3 m

n

9

Mongrel 8.5 m

y

10

Mongrel 7 f

n

11

American Bulldog 6.5 f

y

12

Mongrel 9 m

y

13

Berger Blanc Suisse 4 m

y

14

Schnauzer 1.5 m

y

15

Mongrel 8 f

n

16

Bernese Mountain Dog 1.5 m

y

17

6 m

y

18

10 w

n

19

Jack Russell Terrier 3.5 f

y

20

Australien Shepherd 1.5 f

n

 

 

Table 3: Akita Dogs – Main Sample Information.

Individual

Age in years Sex

Castration

1

0.5 m

n

2

3 f

n

3

2 f

n

4

2.5 m

n

5

4 f

n

6

9 f

y

7

10.5 m

n

8

8 m

n

9

9 f

n

10

1.5 f

n

11

1.5 m

n

12

2.5 m

n

13

2.5 m

n

14

2 f

y

15

2 m

n

16

13 f

y

17

7 m

n

18

5 f

n

19

2 m

n

20

4 f

n

21

0.5 f

n

22

6.5 m

n

23

3 f

n

24

5 f

n

25

2 f

n

26

5 f

n

27

3 m

n

28

1.5 m

n

29

2 f

n

30

7 m

n

31

6 f

y

32

10.5 f

y

33

7 f

y

34

12 f

y

35

0.5 f

n

36

7 f

n

 

In addition, we also applied results from two questionnaires where, unlike the previous two, their scientific validity has not yet been established. The Anamnesis questionnaire (Gansloßer and Strodtbeck, unpublished records) mainly generated information about the earlier and current life situations of dogs. Finally, an Interview questionnaire was developed with the help of dog trainers as an extension of the Anamnesis questionnaire to try and detect ADHD -related factors about which hardly or no information could be gathered. The questionnaire was divided into an introduction and three further sections with questions about the early environment and the mother-child-relationship of the animal, the current environment of the animal, and the level of physical exercise (e.g., training, play or the participation in dog schools and/or puppy hours). All the questionnaires have been included as the supplementary material (in below).

Data were then collected from different sources using one or more of the questionnaires. First, the “collective database” (Gansloßer and Strodtbeck, unpublished.; www.einzelfelle.de) comprised a data set with information from different dog breeds and mongrels (n=60) that was collated using the ADHD, Anamnesis and Personality questionnaires. The dogs being studied were heterogeneous with respect to their age, gender and breed. Secondly, a database of “dog school subjects” was compiled from the records of animals of different breeds and mongrels (n=20) that belonged to collectives from two dog schools in the northern part of the German province of Lower Saxony. In these dog schools, the dog owners placed their pets into one of the two different personality categories: active and nervous versus calm and/or relaxed. Data were collected using the ADHD and Interview questionnaires. Again, the investigated animals presented with a heterogeneous character with respect to their age, gender and breed. Finally, an Akita-specific database (n=36) was compiled with the help of the Japan Akita e.V. dog club in Germany and scores for motor activity and inattention were obtained using the ADHD questionnaire. For some analyses, not all questionnaires for a data set could be used because of missing answers and the sample sizes were adjusted accordingly.

Data Analysis

Statistical analyses were performed using the IBM SPSS Statistics v.24. All the tests used a nominal alpha value of 0.05 corrected for multiple comparisons using a Bonferroni correction. This procedure was employed on a per hypothesis basis for each factor that was involved in two or more correlations and in between-group comparisons (see below).

Social and Physical Correlates of ADHD-Like Behavior (Hypotheses 1 and 2)

 Motor activity and inattention scores as well as scores for the questions 1 to 13 from the ADHD questionnaire) were correlated with factors from case-study questionnaires (i.e., Anamnesis and Interview questionnaires) to identify the social and physical correlates of ADHD-like behavior in dogs. Important social factors determined were the duration of petting bouts, the duration of periods of separation and the number of social contacts established. The latter was defined as a non-isolated dog-dog or dog-human contacts of at least a week-long duration. Physical factors included the duration and frequency of walks as well as the frequency of play time. In addition, nominal factors like castration (hypothesis 2) were also determined.

Comparing the ADHD and Personality Questionnaires (Hypothesis 3)

Both the ADHD and Personality questionnaires attempted to assess the degree of ADHD-like behavior in dogs, albeit using different criteria and perspectives, with the ADHD questionnaire representing a more direct assessment. Using Spearman rank correlation, it was tested how strongly each of the four personality dimensions in the Personality questionnaire correlated with the scores for motor activity and inattention scores in the ADHD questionnaire.

Heritability of ADHD-Like Behavior (Hypotheses 4 and 5)

Two analyses were performed to determine ADHD-like behavior in dogs which had a heritable component over the evolutionary timescales, potentially resulting from its potential genetic underpinnings. First, the thorough bred dog subjects from the collective and Akita databases were pooled into groups following the grouping systems of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, Thuin, Belgium38 and that of Parker et al39 which was based on a cluster analysis of molecular genetic information. For both the systems, it was assumed that the groups roughly reflected the degree of relatedness between the different breeds. Breeds that were not listed in either system were excluded from the analyses, with the exception of Akitas, which were included among the Spitz and primitive types (FCI) or Ancient-Asian (molecular genetic) groups. FCI groups or molecular genetic dog groups were compared among themselves for motor activity and inattention scores from the ADHD questionnaire using a Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA test. Only groups with n≥6 were used in the analyses: FCI groups – Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (n=16), Pinscher, Schnauzer and associated dogs (n=10), Terriers (n=7), Spitz and primitive dogs (n=35); and molecular genetic groups – Ancient-Asian Group (n=35), Herding-Sighthound Group (n=9), Mastiff Terrier Group (n=8), Hunting Group (n= 12).

Next, it was determined if ADHD-like behavior showed phylogenetic signals in so far as its presence was significantly clustered in the molecular evolutionary tree of the different dog breeds in vonHoldt et al.40 For these analyses, the presence of ADHD-like behavior was coded as a present/absent categorical variable based on the motor activity and inattention scores from the ADHD questionnaire responses for the collective database. Breeds for which any ADHD-like behavior was indicated were scored as (1=present); all other breeds, including those for which no information was available, were scored as 0. For the latter, it was assumed that ADHD-like behavior represented such an obvious disorder that the absence of any information in this regard for the breed meant that no symptoms for it were obviously present. Significant clustering of ADHD-behavior among the dog breeds was determined using the D measure of Fritz and Purvis41 as was implemented using the caper package v0.5.2 in R.42 Briefly, if D was not significantly different from 0, the trait was not randomly distributed within a tree and was assumed to have a phylogenetic implication, whereas there was no phylogenetic signal if D was not significantly different from 1.

DISCUSSION

Social and Physical Correlates of ADHD-Like Behavior

The results of the present study indicated that specific ADHD-like behavior in dogs indeed correlate with numerous social and physical factors (Table 4). In particular, social factors including the duration of affectionate behavior following adoption, the number of social contacts, the duration of period of separation, and dogs that slept alone at night, all correlated significantly with increased ADHD-associated symptoms (Table 4). A negative correlation was also observed for the physical factor of the frequency of play time, whereas increase in either the frequency or duration of walks correlated significantly with increased inattention (as was measured by ADHD question 11). Castration also had an effect so far as castrated dogs displayed a significantly higher motor activity value relative to the uncastrated ones (Table 4).

 

Table 4: Summary of the Statistical Analyses Yielding Significant Correlations for Hypotheses 1 to 3 from the Introduction.
Hypothesis Factor – Factor / Group comparison Database Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient (rs) / Test statistics p-value (a after Bonferroni correction)
1 – Social factors Duration of affectional behavior (after adoption) – inattention Dog school subjects -0.56 (n=19) 0.013 (0.025)
1 – Social factors Number of social contacts – values for ADHD question 2
(Velocity for gaining or losing interest)
Collective database -0.525 (n=20) 0.017 (0.025)
1 – Social factors Number of social contacts – values for ADHD question 3

(Concentration problems in tasks or games)

Collective database -0.522 (n=20) 0.018 (0.05)
1 – Social factors Duration of separation period – values for ADHD question 5

(Problems to keep calm)

Collective database -0.328 (n=49) 0.023 (0.025)
1 – Social factors Duration of separation period – motor activity Collective database -0.29 (n=49) 0.044 (0.05)
1 – Social factors Sleeping situation (alone/not alone) –inattention Collective database Mann-Whitney U=71,5
(n=37 and n=8)
0.023 (0.025)
1 – Physical factors Frequency of play time (until 6 months) – motor activity Dog school subjects -0.561 (n=17) 0.019 (0.025)
1 – Physical factors Frequency of walks – values for ADHD question 11

(Hectic or Problems in solving tasks)

Collective database 0.297 (n=52) 0.034 (0.05)
1 – Physical factors Duration of walks – values for ADHD question 11
(Hectic or Problems in solving tasks)
Collective database 0.29 (n=54) 0.035 (0.05)
2 – Castration Castration (yes/no) –motor activity Collective database Mann-Whitney U=594,0 (n=59) 0.005 (0.025)
3 – Personality Calmness –motor activity Collective database -0.52 (n=60) 0.00002 (0.0125)
3 – Personality Calmness –inattention Collective database -0.499 (n=60) 0.00005 (0.0125)
3 – Personality Sociability – inattention Collective database -0.326 (n=59) 0.012 (0.025)
3 – Personality Trainability – inattention Collective database -0.334 (n=59) 0.01 (0.017)

 

Although, existing literary records of this condition on dogs is often lacking in this regard, an analysis of the human and mammalian literature supports the findings of many results, even if only at a more general scale. For instance, in their review article on human and laboratory studies, Szyf et al26 clearly indicated that factors existing in the social environment can indeed evoke long-lasting brain and behavioral changes. It is also known that mammals have a so-called panic-grief system43 that promote the development of social bonds,9 and also make them vulnerable to depression via social rejection or loss.9,43 These symptoms are closely related to the synthesis of receptors involved in the development of the emotional system of the dog before the onset of sexual maturity.33 Dogs possessing a well-developed receptor system tend to achieve a feeling of social security more quickly than others.33 Additionally, existing literature emphasizes on the possible stress effects on dogs resulting from restrictions in their social (or spatial) settings.44

In this regard, the negative correlation between many of the social factors and inattention values as outlined above becomes understandable. For instance, longer phases of affectionate behavior towards a (young) dog can release high amounts of oxytocin in it,45 with oxytocin being an important regulator of social dynamics.46,47,48 Not only does oxytocin influence the developing brain of humans it also plays a role in establishing the mother-child relationship,49 towards supporting the regulation of negative emotional states as well as to enhance the motivation for building and facilitating new social interactions.50 However, oxytocin is only one such compound; it should be noted that many other chemical substances in addition to it (e.g., opioids, prolactin, corticoliberin or glutamate) have affect the origin of social relationships.51

The implied social situation of the dog can also influence its behavior as was shown by both the sleeping situation and the duration of the period over which the dogs were left unattended. Dogs that slept alone or were left unattended for longer periods were considered to be undergoing different forms of social isolation, something that was shown to increase stress levels in humans,52 mammals in general53 and guinea pigs and chickens54 and could contribute towards the higher inattention values in the former group and decreased motor activity scores in the latter (Table 4). Both the variables indirectly impacted the number of social contacts.55,56,57 Thus, dogs might have preferred sleeping near the owners or other pets, just as Rütten and Fleißner58 observed that pack mates in African wild dogs were close to one another when resting or sleeping. Furthermore, although dogs generally remain calm during the period of separation from their owners (regardless of the duration of this period),59 those separated over a longer time show greater physical activity when their owners returned,60 potentially reflecting on their increased perceived social isolation during the prolonged separation period. Thus, although short periods of separation did not seem as detrimental–and might have positive benefits if the results of Raineki et al61 showed that short periods of separation in rats from the mother could decrease anxiety or stress-related behavior in young rats (so-called neonatal handling) which could also be explained with respect to dogs–long-lasting, repeated periods of isolation impaired the welfare of the dog.60

Perhaps less obvious is that the physical environment of the dog also contributes to its psychological well-being. Although many studies have documented the general positive effects of physical activity (e.g., Mattson62), it remains undisputed that recovery phases will also be needed. Thus, the positive correlations that were observed between the walking activity and ADHD-like symptoms might have been derived following an overstimulation of the dogs compared to their natural behavior, with many studies indicating that dogs were largely inactive over their daily schedules. For instance, feral dogs invest only 12% of the day in travel activity.63 Further details were provided by Bloch64, who stated that dogs spend 71.4% of the day in inactivity, with the active hours (3.3 to 4.7 hours; 1.6 hours more in juveniles) being dominated by territorial behavior, feeding, or vigilance. Analogous results have been observed for guard dogs, which were found to be inactive for 70±23% of an eight-hour period65 and free-ranging Indian dogs, that spent only 15.7% of the day walking and more than half being inactive.66 In the light of these results, different walking opportunities and the pleasant anticipation associated with them could result in a permanently elevated level of arousal or unrest in some dogs and could be problematic if the dogs were already overtly active.33 In contrast, more playing opportunities for young puppies (<six months of age) appear to have a positive effect in that such individuals show less motor activity and so are less hyperactive. It is well accepted that juvenile play, which is widespread among mammals, has a positive influence on the development of the juvenile mammalian brain and the developmental process in general.9,67,68 Furthermore, it is assumed that the inadequate play opportunities in childhood can contribute to the development of ADHD and depression in humans.9

Finally, castration in dogs correlated with increased motor activity values, as was explained by the findings of Salmeri et al69. In association with this observation, Farhoody and Zink70, Lisberg and Snowdon71 and Zink et al72 established a link between castration and an increase in the risk for the development of fear, anxiety, uncertainty and hyperactivity, possibly because stress and fear symptoms were more difficult to regulate because of the decrease in testosterone levels.30 However, other studies have found castrated dogs to be less hyperactive than uncastrated ones,31,73 therefore, it is possible that other factors might be involved here as well.

ADHD and Personality Traits

Existing literature based on human findings, where Parker et al74 and Nigg et al75 reported a certain degree of association between some basic personality dimensions and ADHD, the results of the present study showed several personality traits in dogs that could be correlated with ADHD-like behavior. In particular, the ADHD-like trait of inattention correlated negatively with each of the personality traits of calmness, sociability, and trainability (Table 4), such that motor activity and calmness also showed a negative correlation to each another (Table 4).

Indeed, many of the correlations that were found were hinted at on studies conducted on human subjects. For instance, Nigg et al75 established a correlation between increased aggression (which was linked to lower agreeableness or, in the current context, sociability) and heightened hyperactivity-impulsivity (here, potentially inattention). Moreover, calmer individuals showed fewer symptoms of negative emotional states.76 The latter included anxiety and depression, which was linked to increased inattention75 and, in the context of this study, perhaps decreased trainability in dogs because their ability to concentrate on specific tasks was considerably affected. Naturally, one cannot conclude too much from these results because it is yet to be understood how many of these traits would be applicable for dogs given that it remains unknown whether similar personality traits in humans and dogs underlie the same psychological (e.g., emotional) mechanisms. In addition, dogs themselves are heterogeneous with respect to behavioral parameters which often differ between the conventional (e.g., FCI) or genetic dog groups (e.g., Ancient-Asian group).35

Heritability of ADHD-Like Behavior

Although, the present study highlights on the possible non-genetic determinants of ADHD-like behavior in dogs, numerous studies also point to a genetic predisposition for this condition (e.g. Faraone et al77; Burt78). Being aware that many psychological diseases find their origin in gene-environment interactions (as in humans11), it was of great interest to observe if certain breeds or groups of closely related breeds were more disposed to develop ADHD-like behavioral traits in comparison to the others, reflecting on the heritability of this trait on an evolutionary timescale. In this context, differences between the breeds concerning the occurrence of certain alleles linked to ADHD-like behavior have been documented,20 which have also been assumed to lead to differences on the behavioral level.20,79 It is also known that certain breeds are more vulnerable towards developing anxiety relative to the others80 which could lead to ADHD-like behavior (e.g., inattentive behavior caused by increased anxiety).

Following the comparison of groups of different dog breeds to one another, the results indicate a significant difference among groups, with significantly lower motor activity values for Akitas compared to all other groups, whether with the FCI Spitz and primitive group (Figure 1 and Table 5; Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA c2=26.643, n=68, p<0.001) or with the molecular genetic Ancient-Asian group (Figure 2 and Table 6; Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA: c2=23.846, n=64, p<0.001). Similarly, significant differences between the groups with respect to their inattention scores were found for both the FCI (Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA: c2=9.239, n=68, p<0.05) and molecular genetic groups (Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA: c2=8.637, n=64, p<0.05), although pairwise comparisons only revealed one difference and that between the Ancient-Asian and Hunting groups for the latter (p=0.043). Together, these results support the idea that motor activity and inattention values are positively correlated for some dog breeds (groups), which, in turn, depend on personality traits as discussed above.

 

Figure 1: Comparison of Motor Activity Values for Four FCI Dog Groups. The Group “Spitz and Pprimitive Types” has been Represented by the Data Collected from Akita Dogs

Comparison of Motor Activity Values for Four FCI Dog Groups. The Group “Spitz and Pprimitive Types” has been Represented by the Data Collected from Akita Dogs

Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA: c2 =26.643, n=68, p<0.001.

 

Table 5: Comparison of Motor Activity Values for the FCI Groups – Summary of the Significant Results.
Group – Group comparison Corrected p-value
Sheegdogs & Cattle dogs – Spitz & primitive types 0.001
Pinscher, Schnauzer & others – Spitz and primitive types 0.001
Terriers – Spitz & primitive types 0.010

 

Figure 2: Comparison of Motor Activity Values for Four Molecular Genetic Dog Groups (after Parker et al39). The Ancient-Asian group has been Represented by the Collection of Akita dogs.

Comparison of Motor Activity Values for Four

Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA:c2 =23.846 n=64, p<0.001.

 

Table 6: Comparison of Motor Activity Values for the Molecular Genetic Dog Groups Summary of the Significant Results
Group – Group comparison Corrected p-value
Herding-Sighthound group – Ancient-Asian group 0.009
Mastiff Terrier group – Ancient-Asian group 0.022
Hunting group – Ancient-Asian group 0.001

 

In addition, these results also fit well with the general description of Akitas as “calm”,36 but do not match the statements of some Akita owners who have evaluated their dogs as becoming increasingly nervous. However, it must be remembered that the statements of the Akita owners about their dogs’ behaviour must be viewed somewhat critically because of their potential subjectivity. An owner normally has a special relationship to his/her dog and therefore could overestimate the severity of any apparent behavioural changes. It is also conceivable that the impression of some owners has more to do with the fact that Akitas might be acting more “nervously” at club meetings, where the animals are often kept closely to each other. Nevertheless, the opposite perspective is also worth considering in that other groups do have significantly higher motor activity values than do Akitas. Bradshaw et al81 indicated that herding dogs (e.g., the FCI Sheep and Cattle Dog group) tend to show an increasingly aggressive behavior, which could result in higher motor activity values; the same reason might apply for the molecular genetic Hunting group. Similarly, the Terrier group is characterized by traits such as high energy level, excitement, reactivity, but also boldness,35,82,83,84 which could also translate into higher motor activity.

However, these differences do not translate more generally across dogs with respect to the D-value of Fritz and Purvis41 for the presence of ADHD-like behavior based on the phylogeny as was observed in Figure 3 was 0.94, which was significantly different from 0 (p=0.01), but not from 1 (p=0.36). Thus, this trait was distributed randomly on the phylogenetic tree indicating a lack of any phylogenetic signal/heritability at this scale. The slight difference in these two sets of results might be derived from Akitas being noticeably calmer than other groups of dog breeds, but also because the phylogenetic analyses were more fine-grained so far as the different dog breeds were not lumped together in a limited number of categories. Moreover, although the breed groups created by kennel clubs (e.g., American Kennel Club, NY, USA or Fédération Cynologique Internationale, Thuin, Belgium) showed some behavioral differences among themselves, these were established on the basis of external similarities or undefined scientific criteria85 rather than evolutionary relatedness. In addition, because our questionnaire sampling is “opportunistic” (i.e., data are only generated for those dogs suspected of having ADHD-like behavior), it does not represent a random sample of information from all dog breeds. Thus, ADHD-like behavior might be underrepresented in both hyperactive or rare breeds because it is either held as being “normal” for the breed in the former case or there are simply not enough animals to obtain a positive result in the latter case.

 

Figure 3: Neighbour-joining tree after vonHoldt et al40 Allele-sharing Phylogram of Individual SNPs for Breeds and Wolf Populations

Neighbour-joining tree after vonHoldt et al.40 Allele-sharing Phylogram of Individual SNPs for Breeds and Wolf Populations.

CONCLUSIONS

In the present study, numerous non-genetic (social and physical) factors that might correlate with ADHD-like behavior in dogs have been indicated. Our initial findings naturally are subject to the limitations associated with any questionnaire study (e.g., representativeness of the sample, potential perceptional bias on the part of the owners, and, for two of the questionnaires in this case, scientifically validity the questionnaire itself). In addition, as with any correlation study, the possibility of an unknown, third causal factor (e.g., Baron and Kenny86) cannot be excluded; however, it seemed clear that ADHD-like behavior in dogs, as with many neurological diseases in humans11, could be derived from a gene-environment interaction. As such, this study indicates the possible actions that could be implemented for those animals or breeds that possess a genetic predisposition to ADHD-like behavior to minimize the likelihood of its manifestation in these animals. Generally, these actions revolve around providing a stable, affectionate, and enriching social environment for the animal together with adequate (but not excessive) exercise and play time, particularly in the case of younger animals. Although many breeds have been bred to possess traits that might underlie or facilitate ADHD-like behavior (e.g., terriers with their high energy levels, excitement, reactivity, and also boldness), it is not necessary that the individual animals actually display symptoms of this disease given the right social and physical environment.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

We thank the dog schools Friesland and Schoone for coordinating meetings of owners and dogs. We also would like to thank all the voluntary dog owners. Another thank you has to go to the members of the club Japan Akita e.V., with whose help we could gain Akita dogs for that project. In that regard, we are grateful for Mrs. Bettina Schmidt-Pinnekamp, who was always available as the main contact person. We thank Prof. Dr. Franz Bairlein (University of Oldenburg) for his support and useful discussions and for acting as the co-examiner for Nikolai Hoppe’s Master thesis upon which this publication is based.

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Supplementary Material

The following shows the questionnaires (English and German versions), which were used for the study (order: ADHD, Anamnesis, Interview and Personality questionnaire).

(English Version)

VMOJ-2-122 suppl 1

VMOJ-2-122 suppl 2

VMOJ-2-122 suppl 3

VMOJ-2-122 suppl 4

VMOJ-2-122 suppl 5

VMOJ-2-122 suppl 6

We will contact you as soon as possible should further questions on our side.

Thank you for your application!

We will process your application as quickly as possible, but please understand that it can take up to a few days until you receive our recommendations because we both are often out of the office.

Interview Questions (English Version)

 

Introduction

Where did you get your dog from (Shelter, private breeder, etc.)?

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• How old was your dog when you got it?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) 1-7 weeks old ( ) 8 – 12 weeks old ( ) >12 weeks old

• Where do you live (e.g., city, town, or farm; house or apartment; with or without garden; etc.)

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Previous environment and dam-offspring relationship

In the case that you do not have any information in this regard, please continue with the next section.

• What is the litter number of the dam for your dog?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) 1 ( ) 2 ( ) 3 ( ) 4 ( ) 5 ( ) >5

• How large was the litter in which your dog was born (number of puppies)?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) 0 ( ) 1-2 ( ) 3-4 ( ) 5-6 ( ) >6

• What percentage of the litter of your dog comprised (male) dogs?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) 0-49% ( ) 50-100%

• How old was your dog when it was separated from the dam?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) 1-7  weeks old ( ) 8 – 12 weeks old ( ) >12 weeks old

• How would you describe the environment in which your dog was born (e.g., problematic or chaotic, quiet, sheltered, etc.)?

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• How many previous owners has your dog had?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) 0 ( ) 1 ( ) 2 ( ) 3 ( ) 4 ( ) 5 ( ) >5

• How many opportunities were there for your dog to obtain positive social and physical interactions as a puppy (e.g., interaction with other dogs (through walks or a dog school, among others), playing with the owner(s) or other dogs, meetings with friends and family)?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) none ( ) almost none ( ) isolated ( ) some ( ) many ( ) very many

• How often in the first weeks after obtaining your dog / puppy did it receive affectionate behaviour from you?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) never ( ) <1x/ week( ) 1x/ week ( ) several times / week ( ) daily

• If daily, how long did the episodes of affectionate behaviour last?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) 0-29min ( ) 30-60min ( ) 61-90min ( ) 91-120min ( ) >120min

• How often was your dog as a puppy (until six months of age) played outside of a dog school?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) never ( ) <1x / week( ) 1x / week ( ) several times / week ( ) daily

• How long were the playtimes with the puppy on average for these play days?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) 0-59min ( ) 60-120min ( ) >120min

• How long was your puppy nursed by the dam?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) 0-3 weeks ( ) 4-7 weeks ( ) 8 weeks or more

• How often did the dam show disproportionally aggressive behaviour toward the puppy?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) never ( ) < 1x/ week ( ) 1x/ week ( ) several times / week ( ) daily

Current environment

When you first got your dog:

• How often did it have contact to people that did not belong to your household (friends and other family, etc.)?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) never ( ) <1x/ week ( ) 1x/ week ( ) several times / week ( ) daily ( ) several times daily

• How many other dogs / other pets (e.g., cats) live in your household?

– Other dogs:

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) 0 ( ) 1-2 ( ) 3-4 ( ) 5-6 ( ) >6

-Other pets:

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) 0 ( ) 1-2 ( ) 3-4 ( ) 5-6 ( ) >6

• What are the other pets (including numbers; e.g., cats: 3x, birds: 2x, etc.)?

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• How often does your puppy have contact to other dogs outside of those in your household or its dog school?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) never ( ) <1x/ week ( ) 1x/ week ( ) several times / week ( ) daily

• How often does your puppy have contact to other people outside of those in your household or its dog school?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) never ( ) <1x / week ( ) 1x / week ( ) several times / week ( ) daily

• Do other dogs or animals in your household display disproportionately aggressive behaviour towards your puppy / dog?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) never ( ) <1x / week ( ) 1x / week ( ) several times / week ( ) daily

• Do you have (house) rules? Which (e.g., the dog must not lie in the bed, the dog cannot beg, etc.)?

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• How does your dog react to affectionate behaviour?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) aversion ( ) varies ( ) fondly

• How often does your dog receive affectionate behaviour from you?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) never ( ) <1x / week ( ) 1x / week ( ) several times / week ( ) daily

• How long do these episodes last in total?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) 0-29min ( ) 30-60min ( ) 61-90min ( ) 91-120min ( ) >120min

• Are there problems in the co-existence with your dog (e.g., aggressive behaviour toward strangers, nervous behaviour when alone)?

Please describe these briefly:

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• Do concrete triggers exist for these behaviours (e.g., castration, attacks from other dogs, etc.)?

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• Where does your dog sleep at night?

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• How often is your dog alone on average over the day?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) 0-59min ( ) 60-120min ( ) >120min

• Does your dog show problematic behaviours when it is alone(e.g., nervousness, aggression, uncertainty, etc.)?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) never ( ) rarely ( ) sometimes ( ) often ( ) very often ( ) always

• Are there situations when your dog behaves aggressively?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) never ( ) rarely ( ) sometimes ( ) often ( ) very often ( ) always

• Brief description of the situation(s):

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

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• Are there situations when your dog appears to be stressed?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) never ( ) rarely ( ) sometimes ( ) often ( ) very often ( ) always

• Brief description of the situation(s):

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

• Are there situations when your dog appears to be scared?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) never ( ) rarely ( ) sometimes ( ) often ( ) very often ( ) always

• Brief description of the situation(s):

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

 

Auslastung Ihres Hundes:

(Training, playtime, walks, dog schools)

• How often do you train your dog?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) never ( ) <1x / week ( ) 1x / week ( ) several times / week ( ) daily

• How many different types of training activity does your dog receive (e.g., obedience training, dexterity training, etc.)?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) 0 ( ) 1 ( ) 2 ( ) 3 ( ) 4 ( ) 5 ( ) >5

• How often do you play with your dog?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) never ( ) <1x / week ( ) 1x / week ( ) several times / week ( ) daily

• How many different types of playtime activities do you undertake with your dog (e.g., searching for food, romping about, rough and tumble play, locomotor play, etc.)?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) 0 ( ) 1 ( ) 2 ( ) 3 ( ) 4 ( ) >4

• How often do you walk your dog each day??

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) 0 ( ) 1 ( ) 2 ( ) 3 ( ) 4 ( ) >4

• How long do your daily walks last in total (min / day)?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) 0-29min ( ) 30-60min ( ) 61-90min ( ) 91-120min ( ) >120min

• How often does your dog have contact to other dogs?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) never ( ) rarely ( ) sometimes ( ) often ( ) very often ( ) always

• At what age (in years) did your dog first attend dog school?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) 0 to <1 ( )  1 to <2 ( ) 2 to <3 ( ) 3 or older

• How often do you currently attend dog school with your dog?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) never ( ) <1x / week ( ) 1x / week ( ) several times / week ( ) daily

• How often were you previously with your dog in a dog school (i.e., visits that were set off from current set of visits by a break of a few weeks or more)?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) never ( ) <1x / week ( ) 1x / week ( ) several times / week ( ) daily

• Over what time period did your dog take part in puppy training or young dog training (times can be overlapping)?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) 0 to 1 year ( ) 1 to 2 years ( ) >2 years

• How often does / did your puppy take part in puppy training in a dog school?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) never ( ) <1x / week ( ) 1x / week ( ) several times / week ( ) daily

• How long does / did the puppy training in your dog school last?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) 30-60min ( ) 61-90min ( ) 91-120min ( ) >120min

• How many playtimes are / were there per puppy training episode of your dog?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) 1 ( ) 2 ( ) 3 ( ) 4 ( ) 5 ( ) >5

• How long is / was a single playtime during the puppy training?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) a few minutes ( ) 15min ( ) 30min ( ) 45min ( ) 60min ( ) >60min

• How many different types of playtime activities are / were present during the puppy training of your dog (e.g., searching for food, romping about, rough and tumble play, locomotor play, etc.)?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) 1 ( ) 2-3 ( ) 4-5 ( ) >5

• Are / were the playtimes for the puppies interrupted when they became too rough?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) never ( ) almost never ( ) sometimes ( ) often ( ) always

• Are / were actions in the puppy training taken to prevent your dog from being bullied by the other dogs?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) never ( ) almost never ( ) sometimes ( ) often ( ) always

• How many puppies are / were there in the puppy training of your dog?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) 1-5 ( ) 6-10 ( ) 11-15 ( ) 16-20 ( ) >20

• Are / were the puppy training sessions for your dog comprised of the same animals?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) never ( ) rarely ( ) sometimes ( ) often ( ) very often ( ) always

• How often do / did new puppies take part in the puppy training?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) never ( ) rarely ( ) sometimes ( ) often ( ) very often ( ) always

• Do / did adult dogs also take part in the puppy training?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) never ( ) rarely ( ) sometimes ( ) often ( ) very often ( ) always

• How many adult dogs take / took part in the puppy training?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) 0 ( ) 1-2 ( ) 3-4 ( ) 5-6 ( ) 7-8 ( ) 9-10 ( ) >10

• How often do / did non-adult dogs take part in the puppy training?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) never ( ) rarely ( ) sometimes ( ) often ( ) very often ( ) always

• What is / was the sex ratio among the puppies in the puppy training?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) single sex only ( ) predominantly one sex ( ) small majority from one sex ( ) balanced

• How large is / was the age difference between the participating puppies in the puppy training?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) a few weeks ( ) a few months ( ) up to ½ year ( ) >½ year

• How large is / was the complete group of participating puppies and their owners (number of puppies + number of people)?

( ) unknown / no answer ( ) 4-6 ( ) 8-10 ( )12-14 ( )16-18 ( ) 20-22 ( ) 24-26 ( ) 28-30 ( ) >30

 

EINZELFELLE (German Version)

 

Fragebogen Aufmerksamkeit und Aktivität

Hund (Name / Geschlecht):

Kastriert   ja □     nein □
Alter bei Kastration:
Rasse:
Alter/Geburtstag: 

Halter:                   

Name:

Fragen: 

Supplementary Material-VMOJ-2-122

Supplementary Material-2-VMOJ-2-122

Supplementary Material3-VMOJ-2-122

 

VMOJ-2-122 suppl 7

VMOJ-2-122 suppl 8

VMOJ-2-122 suppl 9

VMOJ-2-122 suppl 10

VMOJ-2-122 suppl 11

 

Sollten weitere Fragen auftauchen, melden wir uns umgehend.

Vielen Dank für Ihren Auftrag!

Wir werden Ihre Anfrage schnellstmöglich bearbeiten, aber bitte haben Sie Verständnis dafür, dass es einige Tage dauern kann bis unsere Empfehlungen getippt sind, weil wir beide viel unterwegs sind.

 

 Interviewfragen (German Version)

 

Einführung

 • Woher stammt Ihr Hund (Heim, Zucht im privaten Haushalt, usw.)?

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

• Wie alt war der Hund, als Sie ihn bekamen?

( ) k.A. ( ) 1-7 Wochen ( ) 8 – 12 Wochen ( ) >12 Wochen

• In welcher Wohngegend leben Sie (Stadt, ländlich, Haus, Wohnung, Garten usw.?)

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

• Frühes Umfeld & Mutter-Kind-Beziehung

Falls Sie keine Informationen zu den folgenden Fragen haben, machen Sie bitte mit den Fragen des nächsten „Themenblocks“ weiter.

Zum wievielten Wurf der Mutter gehörte Ihr Hund?

( ) k.A. ( ) 1 ( ) 2 ( ) 3 ( ) 4 ( ) 5 ( ) >5

• Wir groß war der Wurf, aus dem der Welpe stammt (Anzahl der Welpen)?

( ) k.A. ( ) 0 ( ) 1-2 ( ) 3-4 ( ) 5-6 ( ) >6

• Wie hoch war der Anteil der Rüden im Wurf Ihres Hundes?

( ) k.A. ( ) 0-49% ( ) 50-100%

• Mit wie viel Wochen wurde der Hund von der Mutter weggegeben?

( ) k.A. ( ) 1-7  Wochen ( ) 8 – 12 Wochen ( ) >12 Wochen

• Wie würden Sie das Umfeld beschreiben, in das der Welpe hineingeboren wurde
(z.B.: problematisches, unruhiges Umfeld; ruhiges Umfeld; behütetes Umfeld o.ä.)?

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

• Wie viele Vorbesitzer hatte Ihr Hund?

( ) k.A. ( ) keine ( ) 1 ( ) 2 ( ) 3 ( ) 4 ( ) 5 ( ) >5

• Gab es Möglichkeiten für den Welpen, positive soziale und physische Erfahrungen zu machen (z.B.: Treffen mit anderen Hunden (Spaziergänge, Hundeschule o.ä.), Spielen mit Besitzern und/oder anderen Hunden, Zusammentreffen von Hund und Bekannten/Freunden der Familie)?

( ) k.A. ( ) gar nicht ( ) fast nicht ( ) vereinzelt ( ) einige ( ) viele ( ) sehr viele

• Wie häufig hat Ihr Welpe/Hund in den ersten Wochen nach der Übernahme Streicheleinheiten von Ihnen bekommen?

( ) k.A. ( ) nie ( ) <1x/Woche( ) 1x/ Woche ( ) mehrmals/ Woche ( ) täglich

• Falls täglich: Wie lange dauern/dauerten die Streicheleinheiten insgesamt an?

( ) k.A. ( ) 0-29min ( ) 30-60min ( ) 61-90min ( ) 91-120min ( ) >120min

• Wie häufig wurde mit Ihrem Hund im Welpenalter (bis 6 Monate) außerhalb der Welpenstunde gespielt?

( ) k.A. ( ) nie ( ) <1x/ Woche ( ) 1x/Woche ( ) mehrmals/ Woche ( ) täglich

• Wie lang waren hier durchschnittlich die Spieleinheiten mit dem Welpen (an den jeweiligen Spieltagen)?

( ) k.A. ( ) 0-59min ( ) 60-120min ( ) >120min

• Wie lange wurden die Welpen von der Mutter mit Milch versorgt?

( ) k.A. ( ) 0-3 Wochen ( ) 4-7 Wochen ( ) 8 Wochen und mehr

• Zeigte die Mutter im Kontakt mit dem Welpen übermäßige Aggressionen: Falls ja: wie häufig?

( ) k.A. ( ) nie ( ) < 1x/Woche ( ) 1x/ Woche ( ) mehrmals/ Woche ( ) täglich

 

Aktuelles Umfeld

Als Sie den Hund bekamen:

• Wie häufig hatte er von Beginn an Kontakt zu Personen, die nicht aus Ihrem Haushalt stammen (Freunde, Bekannte, usw.)?

( ) k.A. ( ) nie ( ) <1x/Woche( ) 1x/ Woche ( ) mehrmals/ Woche ( ) täglich ( ) mehrmals täglich

• Wie viele andere Hunde/Haustiere (Bsp.: Katzen) leben noch in Ihrem Haushalt?

Andere Hunde:

( ) k.A. ( ) 0 ( ) 1-2 ( ) 3-4 ( ) 5-6 ( ) >6

• Sonstige Haustiere:

( ) k.A. ( ) 0 ( ) 1-2 ( ) 3-4 ( ) 5-6 ( ) >6

• Welcher Art sind die anderen Haustiere (mit Angabe zur Anzahl, z.B.: Katzen: 3x, Vögel: 2x, usw.)?

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

• Wie häufig hat der Welpe Kontakt zu anderen Hunden, die nicht aus Ihrem Haushalt oder aus der Hundeschule stammen?

( ) k.A. ( ) nie ( ) <1x/ Woche ( ) 1x/Woche ( ) mehrmals/ Woche ( ) täglich

• Wie häufig hat der Welpe Kontakt zu anderen Menschen, die nicht aus Ihrem Haushalt oder aus der Hundeschule stammen?

( ) k.A. ( ) nie ( ) <1x/ Woche ( ) 1x/Woche ( ) mehrmals/ Woche ( ) täglich

• Zeigen andere Hunde bzw. Tiere Ihres Haushalts übermäßige Aggressionen gegenüber Ihrem hier vorgestellten Welpen/Hund?

( ) k.A. ( ) nie ( ) <1x/Woche( ) 1x/ Woche ( ) mehrmals/ Woche ( ) täglich

Haben Sie (Haus-) Regeln? Welche sind das (z.B.: Hund darf nicht ins Bett, Hund darf nicht betteln usw.)?

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

• Wie reagiert Ihr Hund auf Streicheleinheiten?

( ) k.A. ( ) Abneigung ( ) Verschieden ( ) Zuneigung

• Wie oft bekommt Ihr Hund aktuell von Ihnen Streicheleinheiten?

( ) k.A. ( ) nie ( ) <1x/Woche( ) 1x/ Woche ( ) mehrmals/ Woche ( ) täglich

• Wie lange dauern die Streicheleinheiten insgesamt?

( ) k.A. ( ) 0-29min ( ) 30-60min ( ) 61-90min ( ) 91-120min ( ) >120min

• Gibt es Probleme im Zusammenleben mit Ihrem Hund (z.B.: aggressives Verhalten gegenüber Fremden, nervöses Verhalten bei Alleinsein)? Bitte beschreiben Sie dies kurz:

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

• Gab es konkrete Schlüsselauslöser für genannte Verhaltensweisen
(z.B.: Kastration, Angriffe durch andere Hunde o.ä.)?

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

• Wo schläft der Hund nachts?

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

• Über welchen durchschnittlichen Zeitraum täglich ist der Hund allein?

( ) k.A. ( ) 0-59min ( ) 60-120min ( ) >120min

Zeigt der Hund ein Problemverhalten, wenn er alleine ist
(z.B.: nervöses Verhalten, aggressives Verhalten, unsicheres Verhalten o.ä.)?

( ) k.A. ( ) nie ( ) selten ( ) manchmal ( ) häufig ( ) sehr häufig ( ) immer

• Gibt es Situationen, in denen Ihr Hund aggressiv reagiert?

( ) k.A. ( ) nie ( ) selten ( ) manchmal ( ) häufig ( ) sehr häufig ( ) immer

• Kurze Beschreibung der Situationen:

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

• Gibt es Situationen, in denen Ihr Hund gestresst reagiert?

( ) k.A. ( ) nie ( ) selten ( ) manchmal ( ) häufig ( ) sehr häufig ( ) immer

• Kurze Beschreibung der Situationen:

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

• Gibt es Situationen, in denen Ihr Hund sich fürchtet?

( ) k.A. ( ) nie ( ) selten ( ) manchmal ( ) häufig ( ) sehr häufig ( ) immer

• Kurze Beschreibung der Situationen:

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

Auslastung Ihres Hundes

 (Trainings, Spiele, Spaziergänge, Erfahrungen durch Hundeschule und Welpenstunden)

Wie häufig trainieren Sie mit Ihrem Hund?

( ) k.A. ( ) nie ( ) <1x/Woche ( ) 1x/Woche ( ) mehrmals/Woche ( ) täglich

• An wie vielen verschiedenen Arten von Trainings nimmt Ihr Hund teil
(z.B.: Gehorsamkeitsübungen, Geschicklichkeitsübungen o. ä.)?

( ) k.A. ( ) keine ( ) 1 ( ) 2 ( ) 3 ( ) 4 ( ) 5 ( ) >5

• Wie häufig spielen Sie mit Ihrem Hund?

( ) k.A. ( ) nie ( ) <1x/Woche ( ) 1x/Woche ( ) mehrmals/Woche ( ) täglich

• Wie viele verschiedene Arten von Spielen Sie mit Ihrem Hund
(z.B.: Futtersuchspiele, Freies Toben, Beweglichkeitsspiele o. ä.)?

( ) k.A. ( ) keine ( ) 1 ( ) 2 ( ) 3 ( ) 4 ( ) >4

• Wie häufig gehen Sie mit Ihrem Hund am Tag spazieren?

( ) k.A. ( ) 0 ( ) 1 ( ) 2 ( ) 3 ( ) 4 ( ) >4

• Wie lange dauern die Spaziergänge insgesamt pro Tag (Min./Tag)?

( ) k.A. ( ) 0-29min ( ) 30-60min ( ) 61-90min ( ) 91-120min ( ) >120min

• Wie häufig hat der Hund dabei Kontakt zu anderen Hunden?

( ) k.A. ( ) nie ( ) selten ( ) manchmal ( ) häufig ( ) sehr häufig ( ) immer

• Ab welchem Alter (in Jahren) nahm der Hund an der Hundeschule teil?

( ) k.A. ( ) 0 bis kleiner 1 ( )  1 bis kleiner 2 ( ) 2 bis kleiner 3 ( ) 3 und älter

• Wie oft sind Sie aktuell mit Ihrem Hund in der Hundeschule?

( ) k.A. ( ) nie ( ) <1x/Woche ( ) 1x/Woche ( ) mehrmals/Woche ( ) täglich

• Wie oft waren Sie früher mit Ihrem Hund in der Hundeschule (Hundeschulbesuche vor aktuellem Besuch einer Hundeschule, mit Abstand von mind. ein paar Wochen Pause dazwischen)?

( ) k.A. ( ) nie ( ) <1x/Woche ( ) 1x/Woche ( ) mehrmals/Woche ( ) täglich

Über welchen Zeitraum war Ihr Hund in Welpenstunden bzw. Junghundegruppen in etwa eingebunden (kann beides in einander übergehen)?

( ) k.A. ( ) 0 bis weniger als 1 Jahr ( ) 1 bis 2 Jahre ( ) >2 Jahre

• Wie häufig nimmt/nahm Ihr Welpe an Welpenstunden teil?

( ) k.A. ( ) nie ( ) <1x/Woche ( ) 1x/Woche ( ) mehrmals/Woche ( ) täglich

• Wie lange dauert/ dauerte eine Welpenstunde in Ihrer Hundeschule in etwa?

( ) k.A. ( ) 30-60min ( ) 61-90min ( ) 91-120min ( ) >120min

• Wie hoch ist/war die Anzahl an Spieleinheiten pro Welpenstunde Ihres Hundes?

( ) k.A. ( ) 1 ( ) 2 ( ) 3 ( ) 4 ( ) 5 ( ) >5

• Wie lange dauert/dauerte eine Spieleinheit in der Welpenstunde im Schnitt in etwa?

( ) k.A. ( ) wenige Minuten ( ) 15min ( ) 30min ( ) 45min ( ) 60min ( ) >60min

• Wie viele unterschiedliche Arten von Spielen gibt/gab es in der Welpenstunde Ihres Hundes (z.B.: Futtersuchspiele, Freies Toben, Geschicklichkeitsspiele o.ä.)?

( ) k.A. ( ) 1 ( ) 2-3 ( ) 4-5 ( ) >5

• Werden/wurden die Spiele zwischen den Welpen abgebrochen, wenn zu ruppig gespielt wird/wurde?

( ) k.A. ( ) nie ( ) fast nie ( ) manchmal ( ) häufig ( ) immer

• Wird/wurde in den Welpenstunden verhindert, dass Ihr Hund von anderen Hunden gemobbt wurde?

( ) k.A. ( ) nie ( ) fast nie ( ) manchmal ( ) häufig ( ) immer

• Wie viele Welpen befinden/befanden sich in der Welpenstunde Ihres Hundes?

( ) k.A. ( ) 1-5 ( ) 6-10 ( ) 11-15 ( ) 16-20 ( ) >20

• Setzen sich die Welpenstunden jedes Mal aus den gleichen Hunden zusammen?

( ) k.A. ( ) nie ( ) selten ( ) manchmal ( ) häufig ( ) sehr häufig ( ) immer

• Wie häufig nehmen/nahmen neue Welpen an den Welpenstunden teil?

( ) k.A. ( ) nie ( ) selten ( ) manchmal ( ) häufig ( ) sehr häufig ( ) immer

• Sind/waren auch erwachsene Hunde in den Welpenstunden dabei?

( ) k.A. ( ) nie ( ) selten ( ) manchmal ( ) häufig ( ) sehr häufig ( ) immer

• Wie viel erwachsene Hunde sind/waren im Schnitt in den Welpenstunden dabei?

( ) k.A. ( ) keine ( ) 1-2 ( ) 3-4 ( ) 5-6 ( ) 7-8 ( ) 9-10 ( ) >10

• Wie häufig nehmen nicht-erwachsene Hundehalter an den Welpenstunden teil?

( ) k.A. ( ) nie ( ) selten ( ) manchmal ( ) häufig ( ) sehr häufig ( ) immer

• Wie ist/war in etwa die Geschlechterverteilung der Welpen in den Welpenstunden?

( ) k.A. ( ) nur ein Geschlecht ( ) überwiegend ein Geschlecht ( ) leichte Mehrheit eines Geschlechts ( ) ausgeglichen

• Wie groß sind/waren die Altersunterschiede der teilnehmenden Welpen in etwa maximal?

( ) k.A. ( ) wenige Wochen ( ) wenige Monate ( ) bis ½ Jahr ( ) >½ Jahr

• Wie groß ist/war in der Regel die Gruppe aus teilnehmenden Welpen und ihren Besitzern (Anzahl Hundeteilnehmer + Anzahl Personen)?

( ) k.A. ( ) 4-6 ( ) 8-10 ( )12-14 ( )16-18 ( ) 20-22 ( ) 24-26 ( ) 28-30 ( ) >30

 

Mein Hund…

1. … wirkt manchmal deprimiert und niedergeschlagen. (E, 4)

n trifft zu (0)                             n trifft zum Teil zu (1)                              n trifft nicht zu (2)

2. … ist eher zurückhaltend und reserviert, wenn eine fremde Person in unsere Wohnung kommt. (E, 6)

n trifft zu (0)                             n trifft zum Teil zu (1)                              n trifft nicht zu (2)

3.  … lässt sich auch in turbulenten Situationen nicht aus der Ruhe bringen. (Ä, 9)

n trifft zu (2)                             n trifft zum Teil zu (1)                              n trifft nicht zu (0)

4. … steckt voller Energie und Tatendrang. (A, 11)

n trifft zu (2)                             n trifft zum Teil zu (1)                              n trifft nicht zu (0)

5. … ist oft in Streitereien mit anderen Artgenossen verwickelt (G, 12).

n trifft zu (0)                             n trifft zum Teil zu (1)                              n trifft nicht zu (2)

6. … reagiert leicht angespannt. (Ä, 14)

n trifft zu (2)                             n trifft zum Teil zu (1)                              n trifft nicht zu (0)

7. … ist begeisterungsfähig und animiert andere Hunde zum Spielen. (G, 16)

n trifft zu (2)                             n trifft zum Teil zu (1)                              n trifft nicht zu (0)

8. … ist überhaupt nicht nachtragend, geht immer wieder unvoreingenommen auf Menschen zu. (G, 17)

n trifft zu (2)                             n trifft zum Teil zu (1)                              n trifft nicht zu (0)

9. … ist eher der stille Typ, hält sich im Kontakt zurück. (E, 21)

n trifft zu (0)                             n trifft zum Teil zu (1)                              n trifft nicht zu (2)

10. … ist anderen Hunden gegenüber eher Misstrauisch. (Ä, 22)

n trifft zu (2)                             n trifft zum Teil zu (1)                              n trifft nicht zu (0)

11. … ist leicht für neue Spielideen zu begeistern. (A, neu)

n trifft zu (2)                             n trifft zum Teil zu (1)                              n trifft nicht zu (0)

12. … ist emotional ausgeglichen und nicht leicht aus der Fassung zu bringen. (Ä, 24)

n trifft zu (0)                             n trifft zum Teil zu (1)                              n trifft nicht zu (2)

13. … ist durchsetzungsfähig und energisch. (E, 26)

n trifft zu (2)                             n trifft zum Teil zu (1)                              n trifft nicht zu (0)

14. … kann sich kalt und distanziert verhalten. (G, 27)

n trifft zu (0)                             n trifft zum Teil zu (1)                              n trifft nicht zu (2)

15. … ist erfinderisch und einfallsreich, wenn es darum geht verstecktes Futter oder Spielzeug zu finden oder zu erreichen. (A, 25)

n trifft zu (2)                             n trifft zum Teil zu (1)                              n trifft nicht zu (0)

16. … wirkt manchmal schüchtern und gehemmt. (E, 31)

n trifft zu (0)                             n trifft zum Teil zu (1)                              n trifft nicht zu (2)

17. … bleibt selbst in Stresssituationen ruhig und gelassen. (Ä, 34)

n trifft zu (0)                             n trifft zum Teil zu (1)                              n trifft nicht zu (2)

18. … versteht in Spielsituationen oft nicht, was von ihm verlangt wird. (A, neu)

n trifft zu (0)                             n trifft zum Teil zu (1)                              n trifft nicht zu (2)

19. … kann sich schroff u. abweisend anderen Hunden gegenüber verhalten. (G, 37)

n trifft zu (0)                             n trifft zum Teil zu (1)                              n trifft nicht zu (2)

20. … wird leicht nervös und unsicher. (Ä, 39)

n trifft zu (2)                             n trifft zum Teil zu (1)                              n trifft nicht zu (0)

21. … hat außer Fressen und schlafen nicht viele Interessen. (A, 10)

n trifft zu (0)                             n trifft zum Teil zu (1)                              n trifft nicht zu (2)

22. … ist sehr selbstbewusst. (E, 45)

n trifft zu (2)                             n trifft zum Teil zu (1)                              n trifft nicht zu (0)

23. … hat oft Streit mit anderen Hunden. (G, 48)

n trifft zu (0)                             n trifft zum Teil zu (1)                              n trifft nicht zu (2)

24. … hat eine gute Auffassungsgabe und lernt schnell. (A, neu)

n trifft zu (2)                             n trifft zum Teil zu (1)                              n trifft nicht zu (0)

 

HUNDNAME und RASSE: …………………………………………………………….

 The references concerning i) the ADHD and ii) the personality questionnaire:

i. Vas J, Topál J, Péch E, Miklósi Á. Measuring attention deficit and activity in dogs: A new application and validation of a human ADHD questionnaire. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 2007; 103(1): 105-117. doi: 10.1016/j.applanim.2006.03.017

ii. Turcsán B, Kubinyi E, Miklósi Á. Trainability and boldness traits differ between dog breed clusters based on conventional breed categories and genetic relatedness. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 2011; 132(1): 61-70. doi: 10.1016/j.applanim.2011.03.006

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