Event Title

Urine Marking, Social Status and Stress in Domestic Dogs

Mentor 1

Anneke Lisberg

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

24-4-2015 10:30 AM

End Date

24-4-2015 11:45 AM

Description

The purpose of this research is to determine whether urine marks in domestic dogs convey social status and, if so, whether baseline cortisol levels may contribute to the formation of such signals. Baseline levels of Glucocorticoids (GCS, including Cortisol), sometimes varies in accordance with social status, however the status-GCS relationship is highly variable among social mammals (Creel et al. 2013). In dogs, social status and the correlated tail-base position are associated with changes in urinary marking rates and responses (Lisberg 2009, 2011, Cafazzo 2012) but it was not known 1) whether dogs could distinguish urine marks of high vs. low status individuals nor 2) whether baseline cortisol differences between high and low status individuals exist and might therefore contribute to status signals in urine marks. We added to a previous dataset to compare the response of dogs to urine from high vs. low-tailed conspecific males. This was done to determine whether status might be assessed via olfactory investigation of urine and compared urinary cortisol:creatinine ratios of high vs. low-tailed dogs. These were looked at to determine whether baseline cortisol levels correlate to status in dogs and may therefore warrant further investigation as contributors to urinary status signals and/or marking patterns.

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Apr 24th, 10:30 AM Apr 24th, 11:45 AM

Urine Marking, Social Status and Stress in Domestic Dogs

Union Wisconsin Room

The purpose of this research is to determine whether urine marks in domestic dogs convey social status and, if so, whether baseline cortisol levels may contribute to the formation of such signals. Baseline levels of Glucocorticoids (GCS, including Cortisol), sometimes varies in accordance with social status, however the status-GCS relationship is highly variable among social mammals (Creel et al. 2013). In dogs, social status and the correlated tail-base position are associated with changes in urinary marking rates and responses (Lisberg 2009, 2011, Cafazzo 2012) but it was not known 1) whether dogs could distinguish urine marks of high vs. low status individuals nor 2) whether baseline cortisol differences between high and low status individuals exist and might therefore contribute to status signals in urine marks. We added to a previous dataset to compare the response of dogs to urine from high vs. low-tailed conspecific males. This was done to determine whether status might be assessed via olfactory investigation of urine and compared urinary cortisol:creatinine ratios of high vs. low-tailed dogs. These were looked at to determine whether baseline cortisol levels correlate to status in dogs and may therefore warrant further investigation as contributors to urinary status signals and/or marking patterns.