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Thread: Seperation Anxiety Research

  1. #1

    Default Seperation Anxiety Research

    I have been asked, through the kennel to pass this advert around :-

    WANTED: Labrador & Golden retriever volunteers for a research project
    My name is Diane van Rooy. I am a veterinarian undertaking a Masters
    research project on genetics of separation-related distress in dogs. Affected
    dogs show physical and behavioural signs of distress in the absence of their
    owner, with the most common signs being barking, howling, destruction,
    pacing, house soiling, escape attempts and self trauma. Anyone who has had
    a dog with separation-related distress knows how devastating it can be for
    both dog and owner.
    If we can identify the genes involved, we can potentially help breeders select
    against the disorder. We could identify at-risk dogs before they show signs,
    possibly preventing the onset with early management. This project could even
    help develop more specific medications to improve the quality of life of
    affected dogs.
    We are looking to recruit Labradors and Golden retrievers and we need dogs
    that show signs of separation related distress and those that do not.
    What’s involved?
    We will ask you to fill in a questionnaire that will assist us to determine if your
    dog will be helpful to our research. Depending upon your responses in the
    questionnaire we may also be collecting a DNA sample (cheek swab) from
    your dog. This procedure will cause minimal discomfort to your pet.
    Anyone happy to be involved can email me at or
    phone 0423 087 823.
    This project is being carried out by The Faculty of
    Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney
    Nev Allen
    Border River Pet Resort

  2. #2


    It's definitely something worth looking into for sure but I think their time would be better spent elsewhere personally.
    Dogs are like people in some regards, you get nervous people, confident people, angry people... Breeding it out is probably possible but it's waaaay down my list of requirements. Research into finding out genetic markers for diseases so they can be tested for would be better. There are still so many problems that cannot be tested for yet.

    If they are really interested in behaviour then aggression or fear are the biggest problems that cause the most issues.

    Thanks for sharing though, it would still be an interesting study and I'd be keen to see the outcome.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Southern NSW


    I am wondering if this is worthwhile. Just like Crested I would think aggression would be more important.

    I have been working with quite a lot of anxiety dogs lately.........I have been changing some things in the home environment and have been having some amazing takes quite a bit of commitment of the owner and understanding. Many house visits and also just lots of work from the owners. It is not 100%, but I think some of the failure rate is due to owner follow through and commitment.

    There are some dogs that I think do have a genetic problem, but I still think that a large percentage is how they are managed or the personality of the owner ()
    Pets are forever

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Sunshine coast Qld


    I agree also with CL and Newfie, time and research money could be far better spent on researching genetic diseases and aggression.

    But then like the international protocal for cavaliers and other valuable researched genetic issues and specialist advise coming out of Syney uni...history shows if its not in the best interest of the breeder ....they usually choose to ignore it, other than the few who really do give a dam.

    Thank you Nev for sharing that but i would rally love the money to be on something more valuable.
    The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
    Mohandas Gandhi

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