Survey shows people want to get to know their dogs better.
- A survey carried out by UK charity, Dogs for Good reveals that almost 90 per cent of dog owners would like to learn more about what their dog is thinking and feeling
- Only 28 per cent of respondents felt that their dog always understands them while many said their dog only understands them sometimes (70.4 per cent)
- 70.5 per cent of respondents said they’d like advice on recognising common behavioural traits displayed by their dog
- Dogs for Good is a UK-wide charity that creates life-changing differences for people living with a wide range of disabilities and conditions
A recent survey carried out by UK charity Dogs for Good reveals that almost 90 per cent of dog owners would like to learn more about what their dog is thinking and feeling.
It’s well known that dogs are greatly loved and play a hugely important role in our lives yet it appears that many owners lack confidence in understanding how their beloved companions are thinking and feeling. This can lead to miscommunication and result in a series of different emotions including frustration and guilt on the part of owners.
The survey sought to find out what advice and support the nation’s 12 million dog owners would find most helpful and the results support the launch of the charity’s brand new ‘Take the Lead’ campaign.
The survey revealed that:
- 85.6 per cent of respondents said they don’t feel confident that they know what their dog is thinking and feeling and they’d like to learn more while only 14.4 per cent said they didn’t feel the need for this.
- Only 28 per cent of respondents felt that their dog always understands them while many said their dog only understands them sometimes (70.4 per cent).
- 70.5 percent of respondents said they’d like advice on recognising common behavioural traits displayed by their dog.
- 58.2 per cent said they’d like to receive advice about how to improve communication with their dog.
It’s not always easy to train and care for a dog so having the right advice is really important; something echoed by survey respondents.
- 53.3 per cent of respondents said they’d like advice about how to train their dog
- 59.6 percent said that they would be encouraged to engage in more training sessions if they had access to good training advice
- 54.1 per cent wanted to know what activities to do with their dog
- 49.2 per cent said they would like advice about the health and welfare of their dog
Chris Muldoon, Operations Manager at Dogs for Good is responsible for developing the charity’s breeding programme, puppy socialisation and dog training. He explains that building a strong bond with your dog can bring untold benefits but it crucially starts with really getting to know and understand your dog’s needs.
Chris, who is based at the charity’s national training centre in Banbury, Oxfordshire but lives in Glasgow, said:
“It’s refreshing to see how honest people have been with their answers and they’ve been willing to say they don’t feel they have enough information about the training and welfare of their dogs.
“It’s also encouraging that so many respondents said their dog’s health and welfare is a priority and they recognise that it’s not their dog that has the issue – they need to build their own knowledge and skills to better meet their dog’s needs.
“Nobody wants a badly behaved or unhappy dog and people will strive to get positive results because they want their dog to be happy. This in turn makes dog owners happier because it’s upsetting when their dog is unhappy or unwell.”
He added: “The results from this survey will allow us to respond to the issues that have been raised by dog owners and help them to start the process of understanding their dog better.
“We have loads of expertise to offer including best practice in training, how to understand your dog’s behaviour and other useful practical advice.
“We want to share our knowledge and skills with as many dog owners as possible so they can enjoy the experience of working and training their dogs and improve their own and their dog’s life.”
Dogs for Good’s Take the Lead campaign draws on the charity’s expert understanding of dogs, built over 30 years of training highly-skilled assistance dogs and aims to empower dog owners to confidently build a better bond with their dog.
Through Take the Lead, dog owners will be able to access advice and information to help support them to build a rewarding relationship with their dog and ensure they have a happy, healthy four-legged friend.
Take the Lead includes good advice on subjects such as dog behaviour, psychology and wellbeing – all topics that survey respondents said they’d like to know more about. All the advice is available on the Dogs for Good website here.
Over the last 30 years Dogs for Good has developed its services to train assistance dogs and provide animal assisted therapy via its community dog service to support people with a wide range of disabilities and conditions including autism, physical disabilities, dementia and learning disabilities. The impact can be life-transforming, enabling people to live more independent lives and gain confidence to take on new challenges.
Every assistance dog is specially trained to help with practical tasks that many people with disabilities find difficult or impossible to do.
The charity also has a Family Dog service which offers training, guidance and ongoing support to parents of children on the autism spectrum enabling the whole family to benefit from the unique support a well-trained dog can bring.
130 participants responded in this survey conducted by Dogs for Good between September 22 and October 12 with dog owners and supporters of the charity.