Candace Croney Research Group


Using non-invasive methods of animal welfare evaluation to improve animal and human quality of life

Research Group

Welfare of Breeding Dogs

Welfare of Breeding Dogs

The welfare of dogs housed in commercial breeding facilities is of great public concern. However, little research has been performed to examine the welfare status of the dogs on-site at kennels, characterize the nature and extent of welfare problems experienced, and explore solutions. We are developing tools to evaluate the behavioral and physical welfare of commercial breeding dogs and create practical recommendations to improve their lives and those of their puppies.

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Feline Welfare

Feline Welfare

Each year millions of cats are confined to cages in veterinary hospitals, shelters, and biomedical research facilities. We have investigated factors that impact how cats’ respond to confinement including aspects of the cage and housing room as well as individual differences in coping style and the quality of human-cat interactions. This research aims to identify the highest quality environment to promote cat welfare.

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Agricultural Animal Bioethics

Agricultural Animal Bioethics

While science addresses the question of what can be done with animals to produce food and fiber, ethics addresses the question of what "ought" to be done. Training of leaders in U.S. animal agriculture to better understand and facilitate resolutions on publicly debated issues pertaining to agricultural animal bioethics is critically needed to adequately prepare young scientists and future animal industry leaders in this important trans-disciplinary subject area.

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New Information

  • The Stanton Foundation awarded $1.98M to Dr. Candace Croney to study the welfare of dogs and puppies in commercial breeding kennels. The overall goal is to promote culture change in commercial dog breeding so as to support sustainable pet ownership. Read more...
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship Position Available - Click here

Featured Research

Do You See What I See? Evaluating Socialization in Commercial Breeding Dogs

Breeding dog responses to their familiar caretaker

Breeding dog responses to unfamiliar observer

In the video clip where the dogs are in the arena with a caretaker, they have a high level of positive interaction with him. These dogs are clearly used to seeing and interacting with the caretaker and they appear to enjoy those interactions based on their behavior.  In contrast, when the dogs are in the arena with a person with whom they are unfamiliar, their behavior changes drastically. They stay very far away from the stranger and look for a way out of the arena. One of the dogs begins to show repetitive behavior by running back and forth between the same spots while barking. This repetitive behavior indicates the dog is fearful.  The differences in responses of dog to the caretaker vs. the unfamiliar person suggests that while they appear to have positive, frequent enough interactions with him to solicit his attention and continue to engage with him, they are not generalizing their perceptions of such interactions to strangers. This suggests that the dogs need more, gentle, effective socialization to different people to reduce fearfulness when in the presence of unfamiliar people.


Poster Presentations

Poster Presentations

Congratulations to Croney Lab Research Assistants Mikayla Small and Andy Pietraniec who won 3rd place for their poster "Effect of Live and Recorded Observations on Shelter dogs' Response to Stranger Approach" at the campus-wide Undergraduate Research Conference held April 10 at the Purdue Memorial Union.

Poster Presentations

Master's student Lynda Mugenda presented her poster "Refining On-site Canine Welfare Assessment Evaluating the Reliability of Field Instantaneous Dog Observation (FIDO) Scoring" at the annual PVM Research Day held April 9, which highlights research in the Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine.

Contact Dr. Candace Croney

Ph: (765) 496-6665 (office) 
Fax: (765) 494-9830
Email: ccroney@purdue.edu

Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, 625 Harrison Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-7607

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