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Behavior similar to human ADHD seen in dogs

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A study of about 11,000 dogs conducted at the University of Helsinki found that gender, age,
Dog breeds and behavioral problems and certain environmental factors are associated with hyperactivity and impulsive behavior and inattention (ADHD).


“Our findings help us better identify, understand, and treat hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention in dogs. In addition, they show similarities to human ADHD. dog In ADHD-related research, “said Professor Hannes Lohi, head of the Dog Genetics Research Group at the University of Helsinki.

“Dog shares many similarities with humans, such as physiological characteristics and the same environment. In addition, behaviors like ADHD occur naturally in dogs, which allows them to investigate human ADHD. It’s an interesting model for doing so, “says postdoctoral fellow Sini Silkama.

Professor Lohi’s research group collected data on more than 11,000 dogs by conducting an extensive behavioral survey. Hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention were investigated using survey-based questions used in human ADHD studies.The purpose of the study was to identify Environmental factors Potential links to underlying dog ADHD-like behavior and other behavioral traits.

The age and gender of the dog and the experience of the owner’s dog make a difference

“Hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention have been found to be more common in young and male dogs. Corresponding observations of age and gender associated with ADHD have also been made in humans,” said Dr. Jenni Puurunen. Says.

Dogs that spend more time alone at home each day were more active, impulsive, and less alert than dogs that spend less time alone.

“As a social animal, dogs can be frustrated and stressed when they are alone, and can be released as hyperactive, impulsive, and careless. Dogs that spend a lot of time alone There may be less exercise and attention from the owner. “Muse.

Researchers have discovered the experience of owner dogs because of the new association between hyperactivity and impulsivity and the two traits that were more common in dogs that were not the owner’s first dog. The causal relationship of this phenomenon remains unclear.

“People may choose a less active individual as their first dog, which closely matches the idea of ​​a pet dog, but after gaining experience with dogs, choose a more active and challenging dog. You can, “explains Silkama.

Important differences between varieties

Breeding has had a significant impact on the breed-specific behavior of various breeds. Differences between varieties may also indicate the genes underlying the associated trait.

“Work-reared varieties, such as German shepherds and border collies, are typically hyperactive, impulsive, and focused. In contrast, milder personalities are chiwawa and long-haired collies. Pets and show dogs, such as poodles, become easier companions in everyday life, and concentration is not considered as an important trait in these breeds as in working breeds. Why pets Can carelessness become more common among dogs in the world, “says Roch.

Links to other behavioral issues

This study identified an interesting previously observed association between hyperactivity, impulsivity, inattention, compulsive behavior, aggression, and fear. ADHD is often associated with other mental disorders and illnesses. For example, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is often associated with ADHD. In dogs, obsessive-compulsive behaviors such as OCD can appear, among other things, to chase the tail, continuously lick the surface or itself, or stare at “nothing”.

“The findings suggest that the same brain regions and neurobiological pathways regulate activity, impulsivity, and concentration in both humans and dogs, which dogs model in ADHD studies. It reinforces the promise to show, in other words, both results can be made. It’s easy not only to identify and treat impulsivity and carelessness in dogs, but also to facilitate ADHD research, “Sulkama said. Summarizes.

The study was published in Translational psychiatry..


Aggressive behavior of dogs against humans is often caused by fear


For more information:
Sini Sulkama et al, canine hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention share similar demographic risk factors and behavioral comorbidities with human ADHD. Translational psychiatry (2021). DOI: 10.1038 / s41398-021-01626-x

Quote: Human ADHD-like behavior seen in dogs (October 15, 2021) from https: //phys.org/news/2021-10-behaviour-resembling-human-adhd-dogs.html 2021 Obtained on October 15th.

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Behavior similar to human ADHD seen in dogs

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