Aggressive behaviour is affected by demographic, environmental and behavioural factors in purebred dogs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Aggressive behaviour is an unwanted and serious problem in pet dogs, negatively influencing canine welfare, management and public acceptance. We aimed to identify demographic and environmental factors associated with aggressive behaviour toward people in Finnish purebred pet dogs. We collected behavioural data from 13,715 dogs with an owner-completed online questionnaire. Here we used a dataset of 9270 dogs which included 1791 dogs with frequent aggressive behaviour toward people and 7479 dogs without aggressive behaviour toward people. We studied the effect of several explanatory variables on aggressive behaviour with multiple logistic regression. Several factors increased the probability of aggressive behaviour toward people: older age, being male, fearfulness, small body size, lack of conspecific company, and being the owner's first dog. The probability of aggressive behaviour also differed between breeds. These results replicate previous studies and suggest that improvements in the owner education and breeding practices could alleviate aggressive behaviour toward people while genetic studies could reveal associated hereditary factors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9433
JournalScientific Reports
Volume11
Issue number1
Number of pages10
ISSN2045-2322
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 413 Veterinary science
  • BREED DIFFERENCES
  • RISK-FACTORS
  • PREVALENCE
  • WORKING
  • COMORBIDITY
  • VALIDITY
  • BITES
  • BREED DIFFERENCES
  • RISK-FACTORS
  • PREVALENCE
  • WORKING
  • COMORBIDITY
  • VALIDITY
  • BITES

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