Department of Veterinary Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Sivas Cumhuriyet University, Sivas, Turkey
* Mustafa Koçkaya: firstname.lastname@example.org
The aim of the study was to investigate maternal aggression-stress relationship by determining behavioral variables occurred after the parturition among Kangal shepherd dogs that were kept in sequential kennels. Behavioral parameters exhibited prior to and following the parturition by clinically healthy 10 Kangal shepherd dogs in ages between 3 to 7 years were recorded by using video camera. All the dogs were breeding under the same conditions, and all were in Kangal shepherd dog breeding centers located in Sivas province. Among the recorded behavioral parameters, the following stress parameters were determined: attention deficit, yawning, increase in the frequency of urination-defecation, confusion, over scratching and over licking, overdrinking, barking, rigidity, hyperactivity, low body position, low tail position. These parameters were evaluated by using stress related behavior including ethogram and their relationship with the maternal aggression was interpreted. Sampling method used in the study was the “focal animal sampling method”. Principle of this method is based on the observation of an individual animal in a set time frame. Animal count of each observed stress parameter was represented as percentage in groups in the study. At the end of the study, several of the stress parameters increased in 6 of the recently birthed dogs compared to their conditions before the birth, while the other 4 dogs were exhibited all parameters in increases. In all dogs, it was determined that maternal aggression based stress behaviors are exhibited against other dogs in kennels. However, observing all parameters in 4 dogs would indicate that under extreme stress, aggression can also be against the pups. Particularly for these 4 dogs, and for dogs that have birthed recently, it is suggested that their kennels should be transferred to other kennels where they can’t see other dogs.
Keywords: Kangal shepherd dog, stress behavior, maternal aggression