Inadequate housing can cause behavioural abnormalities
Behavioural abnormalities that can arise from inadequate housing and socialisation
Confinement in inadequate housing can result in a situation of unpredictability for the dog, often causing fear in the short term and psychological problems in the long run. Prolonged exposure to inadequate housing or socialisation may prevent a dog from engaging in species-specific behaviours that promote well-being and may result in the dog experiencing frustration in the long term. This can result in a wide variety of behavioural problems. As dogs perceive stressors differently, they respond differently to the same stressors. So it may be all right for one dog but it may completely ruin another.
An individual’s genetics, previous experiences, age and temperament are all factors that influence their ability to cope and how they respond. For example, a younger dog that is healthy might overcome obstacles much faster once it is over but not be able to cope with it whilst it is ongoing. An older dog may endure these stressors much better but it may leave a lasting emotional scar.
Signs of behavioural abnormalities
|Tail chasing||Dog chases its tail repeatedly|
|Circling||Walking around in a small circle without stopping|
|Wall bouncing||Dog repeatedly jumps up the wall/kennel wall from side to side|
|Play bouncing||Repeatedly display play posture with barking|
|Chewing bedding||Dog chewing its own bed to pieces|
|Self-licking||Licking or chewing its own body repeatedly|
|Panting||Panting even if it is not warm or without physical exhaustion|
|Lack of appetite||Eating very little or nothing at all|
|Excessive barking||Barking non-stop for prolonged periods|
|Listless||Withdrawn and unresponsive to commands|
|Escaping||Trying to escape in a forceful manner even if it inflicts self harm|
|Hiding||Accompanied with low posture, dog hides in its kennel even when it is not sleeping|
|Barrier related aggression||Dog repeatingly chew and bite at barriers/bars/glass doors|
|Self-mutilation||It helps a dog take his mind off being so unhappy and can release ‘happy’ hormones which will make him feel better|
|Dog may start house soiling where it never use to|
|Dog will chew and destroy anything within its reach|
|Aggression towards people
Aggression towards dogs
|Aggression may be a sign of inadequate housing and socialisation|
The essential elements of correct housing for different species
Proper housing and management of animal facilities are essential to animal well-being.
A good management program provides the environment, housing, and care that permit animals to grow, mature, reproduce, and maintain good health; provides for their well-being.
Many factors should be considered in planning for adequate and appropriate physical and social environment, housing, space, and management. These include:
- The animal itself:
- The species, strain, and breed of the animal
- Individual characteristics, such as sex, age, size, behaviour, experiences, and health.
- Social contact:
- The ability of the animals to form social groups through sight, smell, and possibly contact, whether the animals are maintained single or in groups.
- The project goals:
- g., production, breeding, research, testing, teaching or companion
- The design and construction of housing:
- Acceptable primary enclosures
The primary enclosure (usually a cage, pen, or stall) provides the limits of an animal’s immediate environment. Acceptable primary enclosures
- Allow for the normal physiologic and behavioural needs of the animals, including urination and defecation, maintenance of body temperature, normal movement and postural adjustments, and, where indicated, reproduction.
- Allow social interaction and development within or between enclosures.
- Make it possible for the animals to remain clean and dry
- Allow adequate
- Allow the animals access to food and water and permit easy filling, refilling, changing, servicing, and cleaning of food and water utensils.
- Provide a secure environment that does not allow escape of or accidental entrapment
- Are free of sharp edges or projections that could cause injury to the animals.
- Allow observation of the animals with minimal disturbance of them.
- Building material consideration
- Primary enclosures should be constructed with materials that balance the needs of the animal with the ability to provide for sanitation.
- They should have smooth, impervious surfaces with minimal ledges, angles, corners, and overlapping surfaces so that accumulation of dirt, debris, and moisture is reduced and satisfactory cleaning and disinfecting are possible.
- Construction should be of durable materials that resist corrosion and withstand rough handling without chipping, cracking, or rusting.
- Less-durable materials, such as wood, can provide a more appropriate environment in some situations (such as runs, pens, and outdoor corrals) and can be used to construct perches, climbing structures, resting areas, and perimeter fences for primary enclosures. Wooden items might need to be replaced periodically because of damage or difficulties with sanitation.
- All primary enclosures should be kept in good repair to prevent escape of or injury to animals, promote physical comfort, and facilitate sanitation and servicing.
- Rusting or oxidized equipment that threatens the health or safety of the animals should be repaired or replaced.
The essential requirements of a suitable environment for different species
Sheltered or Outdoor Housing
- Sheltered or outdoor housing—such as barns, corrals, pastures, and islands- is a common primary housing method for some species and is acceptable for many situations. In most cases, outdoor housing entails maintaining animals in groups.
- When animals are maintained in outdoor runs, pens, or other large enclosures, there must be protection from extremes in temperature or other harsh weather conditions,
- and adequate protective and escape mechanisms for submissive animals. These goals can be achieved by such features as windbreaks, shelters, shaded areas, areas with forced ventilation, heat-radiating structures, or means of retreat to conditioned spaces, such as an indoor portion of a run.
- Shelters should be accessible to all animals, have sufficient ventilation, and be designed to prevent build-up of waste materials and excessive moisture.
- Houses, dens, boxes, shelves, perches, and other furnishings should be constructed in a manner and made of materials that allow cleaning or replacement in accord with generally accepted husbandry practices when the furnishings are excessively soiled or worn.
- Floors or ground-level surfaces of outdoor housing facilities can be covered with dirt, absorbent bedding, sand, gravel, grass, or similar material that can be removed or replaced when that is needed to ensure appropriate sanitation.
- Excessive build-up of animal waste and stagnant water should be avoided by, for example, using contoured or drained surfaces.
- Other surfaces should be able to withstand the elements and be easily maintained.