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Attitudes to Dog Training Project

Project Lead: Dr Tamzin Furtado

Project Aim 

To understand the meaning and practice of dog training in the community in order to enable development of successful interventions to encourage greater uptake of appropriate training methods and thereby enhance training outcomes for UK dogs and, ultimately, to help bring about a day when all dogs can enjoy a happy life free from the threat of unnecessary destruction. 

Project Objectives 
The objectives of these studies are to: 

  • Explore the different meanings, interpretations and understandings of training (& behaviour modification) in the UK dog owning community 
  • Unpack how, why and in what circumstances people do, and do not do, training (including formal and informal training) including 
    • Which methods people would engage with; classes, visits, phone, internet etc. 
    • Evaluate the implementation of different forms of training, particularly distinguishing between positive reinforcement and negative punishment and, where training is not currently undertaken, what would be done were training to be implemented? 
    • Where training is undertaken, identify the positive effects of training to the owners (what do they get from training, what do they enjoy, how do things change) and the impact on the relationship with the dog (impact on relationship – include type of behaviour) 
    • Identify and explore what/who are important sources of information regarding training, how these are identified, sourced and accessed, and how they are used 
    • Identify novel interventions to enhance uptake and maintenance of appropriate training (note; a subset of these could be evaluated as a later phase of this proposal, or in a separate study).