Accession Number:

ADA586330

Title:

Military Working Dog Assessment 2: The Use of an Open Field to Assess Sound-Associated Anxiety

Descriptive Note:

Manuscript rept. 1 Sep 2011-20 Sep 2013

Corporate Author:

NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIV AT RALEIGH SCHOOL OF VETERINARY MEDICINE

Report Date:

2013-02-25

Pagination or Media Count:

28.0

Abstract:

Military Working Dogs used to detect improvised explosive devices IED in combat situations must be emotionally resilient to gunfire and other loud environmental sounds. Dogs that show anxiety responses to environmental stimuli may be behaviorally unsuited to further training and eventual deployment. In a novel application, this study presented candidate IED-detection dogs, male and female Labrador retrievers, with either ambient noise or recorded thunderstorm or gunfire sounds in a controlled open field arena. Behavioral and physiological responses to these stimuli were evaluated. Physiological data including post-stimuli heart rate, body temperature, and salivary cortisol concentrations were measured. Anxiety scores were calculated from video records by an observer blind to sound treatment. The results revealed that behavioral data were more sensitive than physiological data and dogs stratified with respect to anxiety scores, which ranged from subtle to profound. The results suggest that the open field sound test may be a useful method to evaluate dogs for suitability for training as IED-detection dogs.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Biology
  • Ammunition and Explosives

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE