Pet food manufacturer Webbox has created a new tool to help prospective dog owners determine which breed would be most suitable for them.
Backed by “extensive research”, the Dog Breed Decider compares the traits and requirements of different breeds against a person’s lifestyle. It has been launched in response to a 2018 report by PDSA which found that 5.2m owners admitted to doing no research at all before taking on their pet. A further study by Dogs Trust found that 20% of dog owners spent less than two weeks carrying out research before buying their dog.
This can lead to people abandoning or rehoming a dog they are not equipped to look after and according to PETA at any given time an estimated 100,000 dogs are homeless in the UK.
Some 25,000 dogs are deserted just at the start of each year, for reasons such as barking too much, panting and neediness. In addition, 70% of people do not believe that the lifetime upkeep of owning a dog can cost £10,000 or more – another factor contributing to the high abandonment rate.
The factors assessed within the quiz include how much space a person has in their home, outdoor space, whether they’ve owned a dog before and if the dog will be around children. Other questions include how well a person can tolerate barking, shedding, how long a dog will be left alone each day, how much exercise it will get and how much money an owner can dedicate to the dog.
Users can also prioritise their selection to emphasise the attributes that are the most and least important to them.
A spokesperson from Webbox said: “Statistics around the abandonment of dogs are both shocking and upsetting. Some people base their dog choices on appearance and knowing a similar breed they have been introduced to by a family member or friend.
“However, temperament is just one of several different factors that need to be taken into account when deciding which dog breed is ideal for you.”
They added: “This not only includes your house type and living situation, but also your individual tolerance of the various traits and habits of the dog you’d like to own. It’s also important to think about what your future living situation could look like. For example; you may plan to have children or downsize your home, which should also be considered.”