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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Animal Science

First Advisor

Robbi H. Pritchard


cattle handling, personality type, behavior, feedlot


Handling cattle can be dangerous and requires a skilled stockman to respond appropriately to cattle behaviors. This study created exercises to observe human-cattle interactions and a scoring system for cattle handling proficiency to determine the effect of personality type on cattle behavioral responses. The personality type of 12 handlers was classified using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Virtues in Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS). Three exercises were created with different purposes. Exercise 1 asked handlers to encroach on the flight zone of the steers. Exercise 2 asked handlers to manipulate cattle from the edge of the flight zone. Exercise 3 required human-cattle interaction within the flight zone. CattleScore summed nine cattle behaviors to observe cattle responses to the handler. Handlers were evaluated by 4 qualified reviewers. CattleScore was analyzed as a completely randomized design. The model included fixed effects of personality type and exercise, and random effects of pen, reviewer, and all possible interactions. Auto-correlated cattle behaviors were removed from CattleScore to create AdjCattleScore. Exercise 1 was removed from analysis because it did not differentiate handlers. Exercises 2 and 3 differentiated handler personality types. To test the effect of personality type on cattle handling proficiency, data were analyzed as a randomized block design. The model included the fixed effect of personality type and the random effect of pen with personality type x pen used as the error term. Exercise 2 did not differentiate handlers within the MBTI personality types (P ≥ 0.20). Using Exercise 3, Introverts tended (P = 0.07) to have higher AdjCattleScores than Extraverts. With Exercises 2 and 3 summed, Introverts tended (P = 0.08) to have higher AdjCattleScores than Extraverts. Summing Exercises 2 and 3 explained the same portion of variance as Exercise 3. VIA-IS strength classifications did not differentiate (P ≥ 0.20) handlers using Exercise 2 or 3. AdjCattleScore may be a useful measure of cattle handling proficiency. Exercises 2 and 3 proved to be useful for observing human-cattle interactions to find differences in cattle handling proficiency levels of handlers.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Cattle -- Effect of human beings on.
Cattle -- Behavior
Human -- animal relationships.


Includes bibliographical references.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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