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Name of Faculty Sponsor

Allison L. Martin

Faculty Sponsor Email

alm8737@kennesaw.edu

Author Bio(s)

Madison Pattillo earned her B.S. in psychology with a minor in applied statistics and data analysis from Kennesaw State University in December 2020.

Lauren Mitchell is currently a senior at Kennesaw State University. She is double majoring in anthropology and psychology.

Jessica Catchpole is an undergraduate student at Kennesaw State University. She is majoring in psychology.

Allison L. Martin is an Assistant Professor of Psychological Science at Kennesaw State University. She earned her B.S. in psychology at Kennesaw State University and her M.S. and Ph.D. in experimental psychology at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Publication Date

2021

Abstract

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.

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