Effect of wood-pile feeders on the behaviour of captive bush dogs (Speothos venaticus)

  • Published source details Young R.J. (1997) Effect of wood-pile feeders on the behaviour of captive bush dogs (Speothos venaticus). Animal Welfare, 6, 145-152.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Carnivores: Hide food around enclosure

Action Link
Management of Captive Animals
  1. Carnivores: Hide food around enclosure

    A replicated, before-and-after study in 1997 of bush dogs Speothos venaticus in a zoo in the UK found that when food was hidden around the enclosure, searching behaviour increased compared to when food was thrown into the enclosure. Searching behaviour increased when food was hidden (6.1%) compared to baseline data (2.7%). Searching behaviour decreased as the treatment progressed. Eleven bush dogs in two enclosures were involved in the experiment. Their regular feeding regime consisted of meat chunks being thrown into the enclosure twice daily (chicken on bone, week old chicks, horse meat or unskinned rabbit). Instantaneous sampling with 15 second intervals was used for 30-minutes per day for each dog. During enrichment phase the entire daily food allowance was chopped into small chunks and hidden in the vegetation, rock crevices, under logs and within specially constructed wood-piles. Baseline data was collected for ten days, enrichment data for 20 days and post enrichment for ten days.

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