Piccione, G., Arfuso, F., Giannetto, C. et al. 2013. Effect of housing conditions and owner's schedule on daily total locomotor activity in dogs (Canis familiaris). Biological Rhythm Research 44, 778-786.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of housing conditions on daily rhythm of total locomotor activity in dogs. Seven clinically healthy dogs (Canis familiaris) were used and divided into two groups: Group A lived with its owner in indoor environment, Group B housed in individual box of 140 x 200 cm. Each dog was equipped by means of collar on the neck with an actigraphy-based data logger (Actiwatch-Mini®, Cambridge Neurotechnology Ltd, UK), that record a digitally integrated measure of motor activity. In both groups, a daily rhythm of locomotor activity was observed. In Group A, acrophase and robustness changed during the 10 days of monitoring. In Group B, no changes were observed, and robustness was lower than Group A. Our findings underline the high influence of human presence and care on the amount of activity and on daily rhythm in companion dogs.

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