Research Journal for Veterinary Practitioners

Research Article
Res. J. Vet. Pract. 4(3): 51-59
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Yachilla Maryam Bukar-Kolo, Muhammad Mustapha, Musa Zakariah, Abel Allo, Lawan Adamu 

Department of Veterinary Medicine; 2Department of Veterinary Anatomy, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Maiduguri, P.M.B. 1069, Borno State, Nigeria.
Abstract | Zoometric measurements generally divulge inherent phenotypic and genetic physiognomies of species and breeds of animals, which also explains the aesthetic nature and endurance abilities of these animals globally particularly the canine species. Therefore, the present study evaluates the morphometric measurements, body condition scores and coat colors of the Nigerian indigenous dogs. One hundred and forty-four Nigerian indigenous dogs of different ages and sexes were investigated. In the male and female dogs, the average live weights were 15.99 ± 0.99 kg and 15.09 ± 0.93 kg, height at withers were 51.82 ± 0.77 cm and 51 ± 0.66 cm, body length were 59.23 ± 1.29 cm and 62.23 ± 1.08 cm, length of muzzle were 13.71 ± 0.29 cm and 14.11 ± 0.34 cm, head circumference were 35.49 ± 0.50 cm and 35.36 ± 0.31 cm respectively. The Nigerian indigenous dogs were weighed and assigned a BCS using the 9 point scale system in order to determine their adiposity and nutritional status. 45.2% of the females and 54.8% of the males had an ideal body weight base on the BCS, 33.3% and 66.7% of the females and males are classified as obese whereas 45.2% and 54.8% of the females and males were classified as being thin respectively. The Nigerian indigenous dogs appeared in distinct and combinations of coat colors. The association between gender and BCS was weak and not significant (Chi-squared = 0.480; P = 0.7866) however, an association between body condition scores and coat color was strong, but not significant (Chi-squared = 7.291; P = 0.2947) whereas the association between gender and coat color was strong and significant (Chi-squared = 9.892; P = 0.0195). In the ideal dogs there were strong positive and significant correlations between the zoometric measurements while, in the thin dogs there were variable correlations (both positive and negative) between the zoometric measurements. However, in the obese dogs there were positive perfect and significant correlations between body length and head circumference. In conclusion, the zoometric measurements and phenotypic traits of the Nigerian indigenous dogs may probably aid in the standardization and possible classification of these dogs and may assist in the selection of dogs based on aesthetic nature and endurance abilities..

Keywords | Phenotypic zoometric measurements, Body condition scores, Nigerian indigenous dogs