The problem with promoting ‘responsible dog ownership’
24 September 2019
Dog welfare campaigns that tell people to be “responsible owners” don’t help to promote behaviour change, a new University of Liverpool report suggests.
Dog owners interviewed for a study published in Anthrozoös all considered themselves to be responsible owners, despite there being great variation in key aspects of their dog-owning behaviour.
“Policy and campaigning messages related to dog ownership and welfare tend to focus on the concept of being a responsible owner. However, while ‘responsible dog ownership’ has considerable appeal as a concept, how it is perceived and interpreted has not been studied in-depth,” explains lead researcher Dr Carri Westgarth, a dog behaviour expert at the University of Liverpool.
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