HRV as an Index of Impulse Control in Dogs: Experiment 2

Published: 31 August 2019| Version 3 | DOI: 10.17632/99wtt852jz.3
Sarah Beurms


In this experiment, dogs were either cued to lie-down in front of a brick for 10 minutes (Interesting condition) or to lie-down in front of a brick (Uninteresting condition) while their cardiac activity was measured. Each test session consisted of three phases. First, the dog was placed in the car cage and a 20 min baseline measurement was collected. After this baseline measurement, the dogs were taken out of the car and led to a place in which they had to lie down in front of either a toy (i.e., Interesting condition) or a brick (Uninteresting condition) for 10 minutes. After the experimental phase, another measurement was taken in the car cage in order to measure cardiac activity during recovery. De dataset shows the data for every individual in every phase and condition. IBI’s were exported as text files with the Polar® software Polar Protrainer 5, and artifacts in the data were visually detected and deleted with the ARTiiFACT software (Version 2.09; Kaufmann, Sütterlin, Schulz, & Vögele, 2011). In accordance with the literature, five minutes of each phase were used to calculate HRV. Of the baseline phase, the last five minutes were analyzed. This allowed us to eliminate the stress-effects of beginning the experiment and of putting the polar strap around the chest of the dog. Of these five minutes, the last 30 seconds were removed to account for approaching the car and opening the trunk during that timeframe. Of the manipulation and recovery phase, the middle five minutes were analyzed in order to eliminate noise in the data caused by the handler’s presence when leaving or approaching the dog at the beginning and end.



Associatie KU Leuven


Heart Rate Variability, Working Dog, Self-Control