Dr Diane van Rooy

Diane van Rooy

Diane van Rooy | PhD Candidate
Sydney School of Veterinary Science
The University of Sydney NSW 2006


BVSc, MACVS (Animal Behaviour)

Contribution to the profession and the community
  • 18 years in private practice.
  • Member Australian Veterinary Association.
  • Member of Animal Behaviour Chapter of Australian College of Veterinary Scientists.
  • Member Veterinary Behaviour Group of AVA (AVBIG).
  • Member Post Graduate Foundation in Veterinary Science.

Research Project

Project Supervisor
Associate Supervisors

Separation-related distress disorder is one of the most common behavioural problems diagnosed in dogs. It makes up 20-40% of the caseload of referral behavioural practice and has been estimated to occur in 14-17% of all dogs. Affected dogs show signs of physical or behavioural distress in the absence or virtual absence of their owners.

Separation-related distress can be devastating, not only to the dog but to the entire household, destroying or damaging the human-animal bond. Failure to treat these dogs often results in their relinquishment or euthanasia.

This project is studying the genetic basis of separation-related distress. Although this disorder can affect any breed as well as cross breeds, the study will be limited to Labrador and Golden Retrievers to reduce genetic variation. Dogs will be phenotyped using a dog behaviour questionnaire and affected and unaffected dogs will be genotyped. The results will be analysed for signals that might identify genes that might be later used in genetic tests to help breeders select away from this problem in affected lines of animals.