Dog behaviour and welfare research

Catarina Castro coordinates the dog research program at i3S together with Anna Olsson.

Our research

We study dogs and their behaviour for the benefit of dogs, owners and society.

Relevant papers

Vieira de Castro, A.C., Araújo, A., Fonseca, A., Olsson, I.A.S. (2021). Improving dog training methods: Efficacy and efficiency of reward and mixed training methods. PLoS ONE 16(2): e0247321. (Registered Report)

Vieira de Castro, A.C., Fuchs, D., Pastur, S., Munhoz-Morello, G., de Sousa, L., Olsson, I.A.S. (2020). Does training method matter? Evidence for the negative impact of aversive-based methods on companion dog welfare. PLoS ONE; 15(12): e0225023.

Vieira de Castro, A.C., Barrett, J., de Sousa, L. and Olsson, I.A.S. (2019). Carrots versus sticks: The relationship between training methods and dog-owner attachment. Applied Animal Behaviour Science219, p.104831.

Guilherme-Fernandes, J., Olsson, I.A.S., Vieira de Castro, A.C. (2017). Do aversive-based training methods actually compromise dog welfare? A literature review. Applied Animal Behavior Science, 196: 1–12. doi:10.1016/j.applanim.2017.07.0014


“Training dogs using aversive-based methods rather than reward-based methods can compromise their welfare both during and outside training sessions. That is the finding from the first study to comprehensively review the impact of different training methods on the welfare of companion dogs”

Arabella Gray in Veterinary Record about our research (Jan. 2021)