Puppies too hatched by their mother more anxious and difficult to train

News 7 August, 2017
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    Monday, 7 August 2017 16:13

    Monday, 7 August 2017 16:13

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    Puppies too hatched by their mother, are more fearful and more anxious the face of new situations and are less good candidates to become guide dogs, shows a study published Monday in the proceedings of the american Academy of sciences (PNAS).

    The researchers observed 23 bitches and their 98 puppies in a training program for dogs for the visually impaired, from birth until the age of 2 and a half years.

    They have found that puppies with mothers hens that léchaient and toilettaient a lot and would spend long times with them in their basket, showed high degrees of anxiety in the presence of an unknown object.

    These puppies also had greater difficulties to perform certain tasks such as solving puzzles, giving you access to treats.

    The researchers believe that this over-protecting mother, may explain the 30% failure of these dogs in the breeding program and training of guide dogs for the blind organization “The Seeing Eye”, in New Jersey, who participated in this research.

    These results are comparable to the overprotection of children by their parents, the effects of which have been the subject of numerous studies.

    According to the experts, too protect children may lead them to feel fragile and vulnerable or undervalued and desocialized. This can also lead them to rebel and to seek to live their own experiences, even the most risky.

    Need of adversity

    Similar research has already been conducted with mice and primates, but never with dogs.

    “It is striking to see these puppies with their mother for only five weeks and that this short period after birth has an effect on their success two years later,” said Emily Bray, a psychologist from the University of Pennsylvania, the principal author of this study.

    “It seems that the puppies need to learn to cope with small challenges that are very young and if this is not the case, it can be disabling at a later time”, in this case, the successful training guide for the blind, she says.

    This study has also highlighted that the cognitive and the temperament of the dogs are related to the success or failure in this training program.

    The researchers were able to identify which tests can predict very young, the future performance of the dogs, which will help the trainers to select those who have the most chances to succeed in the dressage.

    A statistical analysis of all data collected, including levels of a hormone linked to stress in the dogs separated momentarily from their puppies, has revealed differences in attitudes between mothers especially, and those which were less.

    When the authors investigated what had occurred of puppies two years later, they found that those whose mothers had been the most attentive were those who had the least chance of passing the tests to become guide dogs.

    This is particularly the case for puppies whose mothers grew long more often to breastfeed, compared to bitches that sat or remained standing, positions more difficult for their puppies.