Mazzola, S. and Albertini, M. and Pierantoni, L. and Pirrone, F. (2013) RECAP (Relazione Cane-Proprietario) 2012/2013: la percezione del problema comportamentale. In: Atti X Congresso Nazionale So.F.I.Vet, 8-9 luglio 2013, Taormina (Messina). (Submitted)
The RECAP (or Relazione cane-proprietario) online survey is a behavioural assessment tool that was designed to explore factors potentially influencing the prevalence of owner reported behaviours in a relatively large sample of dogs and owner’s attitude towards misbehaviours and their modification. Here we report findings about the perceived frequency of canine behaviours believed to be potentially problematic for dog owners. Owners were asked open-ended inquires on their dog behaviour and whether or not dogs exhibited 15 defined behaviors commonly considered to be problematic. 1396 owners completed the survey: 51% thought their dog had misbehaviours they wished to change and indicated at least one behaviour among those provided in the RECAP list. Within the 49% of owners who would not change anything in their pet’s behaviour, only 0.2% actually answered “no” to all the listed behaviours. The prevalence of dog’s misbehaviours was significantly higher when owners indicated their presence from our list than when they were left free to mention. Moreover, attention-seeking was the most frequent behaviour (77%, p<0.05) within those included in the list while intraspecific aggression was the most frequent complaint (13%, p<0.05). These findings may suggest a certain inconsistency in owner interpretation of some dog behaviours.
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