Abstracts: Assessing positive emotional states in dogs using heart rate and heart rate variability

Since most animal species have been recognised as sentient beings, emotional state may be a good indicator of welfare in animals. The goal of this study was to manipulate the environment of nine beagle research dogs to highlight physiological responses indicative of different emotional experiences. Stimuli were selected to be a more or a less positive food (meatball or food pellet) or social reward (familiar person or less familiar person). That all the stimuli were positive and of different reward value was confirmed in a runway motivation test. Dogs were tested individually while standing facing a display theatre where the different stimuli could be shown by lifting a shutter. Continue reading Abstracts: Assessing positive emotional states in dogs using heart rate and heart rate variability