Name of Faculty Sponsor
Allison L. Martin
Faculty Sponsor Email
Shelter environments are stressful for dogs due to loud noises and unfamiliar surroundings. Previous research showed that exposure to some scents resulted in reductions in activity and vocalizations in shelter dogs. We investigated the effects of two calming (lavender and vetiver) and two stimulating (lemon and rosemary) essential oils on crate position and active, resting, and stress behaviors. There were 8, 5-min observations conducted each week per dog, split between baseline and scent exposure. Our analysis using the Wilcoxon Signed-Rank test found that dogs exposed to lavender (n = 13), lemon (n = 10), rosemary (n = 13), and vetiver (n = 12) did not show a significant difference in crate position or amount of time they engaged in stress, resting, or active behaviors compared to baseline. The lack of behavioral improvement indicates that scent enrichment alone may not be enough to have a significant effect on shelter dog behavior.
Pattillo, Madison J.; Mitchell, Lauren N.; Catchpole, Jessica A.; and Martin, Allison L.
"The Effects of Olfactory Enrichment on Shelter Dog Behavior,"
The Kennesaw Journal of Undergraduate Research: Vol. 8:
1, Article 1.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/kjur/vol8/iss1/1