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 25-28 September, 2018 | Singapore
Casey et al. (2014) examined the demographic variables and risk factors associated with owner reported aggressive behavior in dogs. Results showed a 1.8 times increased risk of aggression toward family members in dogs from ‘other’ sources (the category which contained pet shops) as compared to those obtained directly from breeders
Pirrone et al. (2016) conducted a study to compare owner-assessed potential problem behaviors in two groups of dogs: those obtained from pet shops and those obtained from official Italian breeders recognized by the Italian Kennel Club (E.N.C.I). 349 were acquired as puppies from breeders and 173 from pet shops. Compared with dogs acquired from breeders, dogs from pet stores were more likely than dogs from breeders to have an increased risk for owner-directed aggression, separation-related behaviors, and housesoiling. The authors also found a number of owner-related factors
to be important, including no prior experience with dogs, nonattendance at training courses, and lack of awareness of the existence of veterinary behaviorists.
with dogs from other sources, especially breeders. The most consistent finding among studies is an increase in aggression, which is most commonly directed toward the dog’s owners and family members but also to unfamiliar people, and other dogs. Increased fear was also identified in response to unfamiliar people, children, other dogs, nonsocial stimuli, and when taken on walks. Undesirable behaviors related to separation and/or attention-seeking and a heightened sensitivity to touch have been reported.
Contributing factors for these reported outcomes are numerous. Some key factors include genetics, early life stimulus deprivation (inadequate stimulus exposure, inappropriate or lack of social exposure), stress (prenatal maternal stress and postnatal early life adversity), early weaning and maternal separation, transport and pet- store-related factors, and owner-related factors such as inadequate knowledge and experience with dogs as well as different levels of commitment to the pet dog.
Bennett PC, Rohlf VI. 2007. Owner-companion dog interactions: Relationships between demographic variables, potentially problematic behaviours, training engagement and shared activities. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 102, 65-84.
Casey, RA, et al. 2014. Human directed aggression in domestic dogs (Canis familiaris): Occurrence in different contexts and risk factors. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 152, 52-63.Gray R, et al. 2016. Puppies from “puppy farms” show more temperament and behavioural problems than if acquired from other sources. UFAW Animal Welfare Conference York, UK, June 23. (poster)
Jagoe JA. 1994. Behaviour problems in the domestic dog: a retrospective and prospective study to identify factors influencing their development. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Cambridge.
McMillan FD, et al. 2013. Differences in behavioral characteristics between dogs obtained as puppies from pet stores and those obtained from noncommercial breeders. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 242, 1359-1363.
Pierantoni L, et al. 2011. Prevalence of owner-reported behaviours in dogs separated from the litter at two different ages. Vet. Rec. 169, 468-473.
Pirrone F, et al. 2016. Owner-reported aggressive behavior towards familiar people may be a more prominent occurrence in pet shop-traded dogs. J. Vet. Behav.: Clin. Appl. Res. 11, 13-17.
Gray et al. (2016) looked at differences in the behaviors of adult dogs based on the assumed quality of the breeding operation, using specific criteria to classify breeders into 2 groups: “responsible” or “less responsible.” The study focused on three popular breeds – Chihuahua, pug and Jack Russell terrier.
Chihuahuas acquired from less responsible breeders were reported to show more aggression toward
familiar dogs, unfamiliar dogs, unfamiliar humans, and
the dogs’ owners; they also showed more fear of unfamiliar humans, sensitivity to touch, separation-related behaviors, and chasing. Pugs from less responsible breeders were reported to show more fear of dogs, other fear, aggression toward familiar dogs, separation- related behaviors, and excitability. Jack Russell terriers from less responsible breeders were reported to show
a decrease in trainability.Finally, an anecdotal report presented in a book chapter described a sample of 1,864 dogs exhibiting various behavioral problems found that 220 (approximately 12%) of the dogs displayed separation-related problems (Mugford, 1995). An analysis based on the source of the dog revealed that only
10% of purebred dogs obtained directly from breeders presented with separation-related problems, whereas “55% of purebred dogs originating from so-called ‘puppy farms’ or ‘puppy mills’” presented with such problems. It was not reported how it was determined that the dogs came from puppy farms or puppy mills.
The data on dogs obtained as puppies from pet stores and/or born in CBEs shows that these dogs exhibit
an increased incidence of behavioral and emotional problems that cause distress in adulthood compared

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