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Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 559–576 | Cite as

Which Chemical Constituents from Dog Feces are Involved in its Food Repellent Effect in Sheep?

  • Cécile Arnould
  • Christian Malosse
  • Jean-Pierre Signoret
  • Charles Descoins
Article

Abstract

This study is an attempt to identity the active chemicals (signal) of the odor of dog feces that suppress feeding in domestic sheep. The repellent effects of the odors of dog, wolf, pig, and sheep feces (potential predator and nonpredator species) were assessed on sheep, using a food-choice situation. The odors of wolf and dog feces had the highest repellent effect. A total pentane extract of dog feces was split by micropreparative gas chromatography and the fractions obtained were analyzed and presented to sheep in a food-choice situation. The quantitatively major constituents of the pentane extract, identified by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry, are indole and fatty acids. In food repellency tests, indole had no repellent effect. The active odorous signal contained in dog feces appears to consist of fatty acids mixed with neutral compounds acting synergically. These experiments underline the complexity of this biological signal and constitute a first step in the development of a practical repellent for ungulates.

Sheep fecal odor volatile constituents domestic dog Canis familiaris wolf repellency interspecific communication 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cécile Arnould
    • 1
  • Christian Malosse
    • 2
  • Jean-Pierre Signoret
    • 1
  • Charles Descoins
    • 2
  1. 1.I.N.R.A./C.N.R.S., U.R.A. 1291Laboratoire de Comportement AnimalNouzillyFrance.
  2. 2.I.N.R.A.Unité de Phytopharmacie et Médiateurs ChimiquesVersailles CedexFrance

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