The University of Bristol’s Veterinary School has launched a “first-of-its-kind” study into the lives of dogs and their owners.
The UK Dog Project will examine UK dog ownership, and will be undertaken by academics in the Animal Behaviour and Welfare Group at Bristol Veterinary School.
The longitudinal study will examine owners who are “first thinking of bringing a canine companion into their home, right through to being well-seasoned dog owners”. Prospective dog owners, looking to get a dog between now and the end of August 2020, will therefore be asked to participate in the upcoming study.
Researchers will then follow the owners and pets for several years to gain a “deeper understanding” into the relationship between them, and the factors that affect this relationship.
The study also hopes to discover what affects people’s decisions to get a dog in the first place, and how the dog owner relationship develops over the first few years of ownership.
Dr Nicola Rooney, lecturer and research group supervisor, said: “This is an exciting new study that promises to tell us much more about the lives of dogs and their new owners.
“We are extremely keen to get as many people involved as possible, so if you, or anyone you know, have any thoughts of getting a new dog, please do fill in the questionnaire.”