Comparison of the Social and Individual
Behaviour of Intact and Neutered Female
Domestic Dogs (Canis Lupus Familiaris)
Using Video Analyses
Kristin P Lorenz MSc a, Carina A Kaufmann, MSc 1,2, Udo Gansloßer and Priv Doz Dr habil1
1Zoological Institute and Museum, Institut für Spezielle Zoologie und Evolutionsbiologie, mit Phyletischem Museum, Thuringia, Germany
2Department of Zoology, Institute for Behavioral Biology, University of Osnabrück, Osnabrück, Germany
Submission: November 10, 2018;Published: December 03, 2018
*Corresponding author: Kristin Petra Lorenz, Zoological Institute and Museum, Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Straße 11/12 17489 Greifswald, Germany; Institut für Spezielle Zoologie und Evolutionsbiologie, mit Phyletischem Museum, Erbertstr. 1. 07743 Jena, Thuringia, Germany.
How to cite this article: Kristin P L M a, Carina A K, MSc, Udo G, Priv D D h. Comparison of the Social and Individual Behaviour of Intact and Neutered
Female Domestic Dogs (Canis Lupus Familiaris) Using Video Analyses. Dairy and Vet Sci J. 2018; 8(3): 555739. DOI: 10.19080/JDVS.2018.08.555739
Dogs accompanied humans for a long time. When living in close contact with humans’ undesirable behaviours of the dog can cause a lot of problems. Nowadays neutering is often used as the method of choice to alter this behaviour. Using video analyses 18 female dogs were compared about their social, individual and play behaviour. Significant differences were found with neutered female dogs yawning and intact dogs imposing more often. For more meaningful results a larger sample size will be needed..
Keywords:Neutering; Female Dogs; Social Behaviour; Video Analysis
Dogs accompanied humans for more than 30,000 years [1,2] and are often no longer used in their original functions nowadays, but live as companion dogs in families, at least in countries of the western societies . In such a close contact between dogs and humans’ undesirable behaviours pose a lot of problems. Neutering is often used as the method of choice, whether to prevent dogs from reproduction, to reduce all behaviours associated with reproduction, to prevent diseases or to alter undesirable behaviours, without taking the impact on behaviour into consideration.
34 dogs were divided into groups of four dogs with two neutered and two intact female dogs per group. Each group was filmed in four sessions spread over 18 to 42 days. The owners simultaneously let the dogs run. Each dog was filmed for five minutes, the order being randomly chosen. At each following meeting the order of filming the dogs was changed, so that every dog was recorded once in every position. A total of nine groups with 16 intact and 18 neutered dogs was observed. The analysed behaviours were taken from an ethogram of the gray wolf by Goodmann and Klinghammer  which was modified by Ivonne Spitzley and Nicole Elsing and has not yet been fully published. The behaviours were recorded as sent or received by the focal
animal. Moreover, the behaviour patterns where recorded either as events or as states. For events only, frequencies were counted and for the latter the durations of the behaviour in seconds were analysed. Play behaviour was recorded as a state as well.
For statistical evaluation the software R was used. First the age was compared between neutered and intact female dogs using Mann-Whitney-U-Test. Behavioural data obtained were considered as being independent and compared pair wise, so that for each behaviour a comparison between intact and neutered female dogs was drawn. Data recorded as states were evaluated using the randomization test for two independent samples. The behaviours recorded as an event were analysed for significant differences using Mann-Whitney-U-Test. All data were analysed two-tailed. The significance level was set to α=0.05%.
First the age of the intact and neutered female dogs was compared, and significant differences were found (Mann-Whitney-U-Test: W = 68; p = 0.008). Therefore all dogs younger than 1.5 years and groups consisting of less than 3 dogs were excluded from the analysis, through which 18 female dogs (8 intact and 10 neutered) could be analysed. After correcting for age neutered and intact female dogs were comparable in means of age (Mann-Whitney-U-Test: W. = 27.5; p = 0.396). The videos were analysed using an ethogram consisting of 34 behavioural patterns of which
32 were shown during the filming. The analysis of the patterns
evaluated as states was divided into behaviour patterns sent by the
focal animal, the patterns received and individual behaviour. Most
significant differences found when analysing all 32 female dogs
disappeared after correcting for age. Then, a significant difference
was found with intact females imposing more often than neutered
ones and neutered ones yawning more often. Neutered female
dogs tend to raise their leg more often when urinating and tent to
send more behaviours in total (Table 1).
The age of the female dogs differed significantly with neutered
females having a higher median age than intact ones. Several
studies have shown that behaviour changes with age [5-8].
Therefore, the results were not meaningful when dealing with
such an important topic. After correcting for age neutered and
intact female dogs were comparable in means of age. The lack of
significant differences after correcting for age can be due to the
small sample size or the sample. All female dogs were selected
in different dog schools. Often owners visiting a dog school
put much effort on socialising and training their dogs and dogs
visiting courses in a dog school regularly, independent of their
reproductive status, could show equal social skills, since early
socialisation plays a great role for the behaviour of adult dogs .
Therefore, more information about the dogs, their environment
and upbringing should be considered.
Imposing is a pattern of high status and is sent more often by
intact females than by neutered ones. Neutered dogs were more
anxious and less confident than intact ones when in contact with
other dogs [10-12]. Due to the increased anxiety in neutered dogs,
it seems possible that they are more often dominated by intact
females because of their insecurity. To prove this a greater sample
size is needed. In a previous study conducted by Kaufmann the
effects of neutering on 33 male dogs were analysed. As here, intact
dogs were found to be more self-confident and showing more
frequently confident or assertive behaviours, respectively .
The small sample size used here did not show any differences
in the behaviour of neutered and intact female dogs, but
previous studies have shown tremendous effects of neutering
on behaviour and health. Nevertheless, the consequences and
benefits of neutering must be weighed, while taking health-wise
and behavioural aspects into account. In a follow up study more,
dogs will be analysed and more information about the dogs will