According to a new dog research, spraying your hyperactive Lab with a “pig perfume” may help prevent non-stop barking,frantic jumping, and other unwanted behaviors.
The pig perfume is now known as “Boar Mate” or “Stop That.” The eau de oink was formulated by Texas Tech scientist John McGlone, who was searching for ways stop his Cairn Terrier Toto’s non-stop barking. Just one spritz of the pig perfume seemed to do the trick without harming his dog.
McGlone works in the university’s Animal and Food Sciences department of the College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences. According to him, the research was completely serendipitous.
“One of the most difficult problems is that dogs bark a lot, and it’s one of the top reasons they are given back to shelters or pounds,” he said in a press release.
The key ingredient is androstenone, a steroid and pheromone produced by male pigs and released in their saliva and fat. The female pigs in heat seem to find the male they detected it in more attractive.
Yep, one can imagine that dogs spritzed with the scent should not go near female pigs in heat.
Androstenone smells pungent but it can have an effect on mammal behavior, McGlone said.
He and his colleagues tested the product on four different groups of barking dogs in separate kennels.
The researchers were for both the possible effectiveness of the key ingredient and if the spritzing itself astonished the dogs.
In the study:
- The first group of dogs had a person with another dog stand in front of the kennels, 3 out of 12 dogs (25%) stopped barking.
- The second group of dogs was sprayed with a placebo that made a startling spritz noise. In this group, 4 out of 9 dogs (44%) stopped barking.
- The third group of dogs was sprayed with noisey spritz and a lower concentration of androstenone in isopropyl alcohol. 7 out of 9 dogs (78%) stopped barking in this group.
- The fourth group was sprayed with a higher concentration of androstenone in isopropyl alcohol with the startling spritz sound. In this group, 100 percent (6 out of 6 dogs) stopped barking.
“We sprayed it in their nose or toward their head while they were barking…barking and jumping, running back and forth,” McGlone said. “This whole behavior stopped. You could almost see them thinking, ‘What was that?’”
The product had no impact on the heart rate of the dogs. Androstenone appears to also be an intermone–a “pheromone in one species and has a behavioral effect in another species, but we do not know if it is a pheromone (naturally produced) in the other species.”
He also indicated that the product stops cats in their tracks too.
McGlone, though, quickly added, “It’s best used as a training tool rather than a circus act to stop animals from doing what they’re doing.”
He’s now testing pheromones released by several animals to see if any might be useful in commercial products while other researchers continue to look at human pheromones as well. They are hoping to make the perfect Love Potion #9 and other hopefully helpful formulations.
Source: Discovery News