The aim of this study was to investigate attention bias in dogs with separation anxiety and dogs without separation anxiety in situations of different emotional states. Contrary to my hypothesis, the results showed that separation anxiety had no effect on attention bias between dogs with separation anxiety and the dogs with no separation anxiety.
Isolation compared to both baseline and play
Dogs performed more of the following behaviours during isolation compared to both baseline and play: more vocalisation (barking and other vocalisation), more looking at the door, being closer to the door (zone five), and being less in the area where the owner stood during baseline and play (zone six). The differences seen in isolation compared to both baseline and play indicates that the dogs’ behaviour were caused by being left alone in a room without their owner, and not caused by the threatening stimulus.
- Separation anxiety does not affect attention bias in dogs.
- Isolation was different from baseline and play in regards of behaviours related to the owner being absent.
- The use of attention bias tests for measuring the welfare of dogs, and other predator species, needs to be further evaluated.