Husbandry refers to the management and care of animals, and includes activities such as the provision of food and water, and daily cleaning.
The table below shows how husbandry activities fit into the types of activity which can influence welfare in dog studies. As husbandry activities can form the majority of interactions with staff, husbandry has a fundamental role in creating good welfare.
Husbandry activities also provide an opportunity to observe the behaviour of dogs. While formal welfare assessment can be used to monitor changing welfare, it is equally important for all staff who come into contact with dogs to be able to identify desirable and undesirable behaviours. Different groups of staff may be responsible for different parts of the study, such as husbandry, study-related procedures and oversight of the study design. To ensure that negative welfare does not adversely impact good scientific output, all staff should be able to identify these behaviours when observing dogs in the home pen. Note that although all of these behaviours may be exhibited by any dog, persistent exhibition of undesirable behaviours should be investigated to understand the cause.