Come for the looks, stay for the personality? A mixed methods investigation of reacquisition and owner recommendation of Bulldogs, French Bulldogs and Pugs

Packer, R.M.A., O'Neill, D.G., Fletcher, F. and Farnworth, M.J. ORCID: 0000-0001-6226-0818, 2020. Come for the looks, stay for the personality? A mixed methods investigation of reacquisition and owner recommendation of Bulldogs, French Bulldogs and Pugs. PLoS ONE, 15 (8): e0237276.

[img]
Preview
Text
1363231_Farnworth.pdf - Published version

Download (535kB) | Preview

Abstract

Brachycephalic breeds are proliferating internationally, with dramatic rises in popularity juxtaposed with common and severe breed-related health problems. Physical appearance is as a dominant factor attracting owners to brachycephalic breeds; however, whether these owners will choose their current breed for future ownership and develop 'breed-loyalty' in the face of health problems is not yet known. The aims of this study were (1) to quantify levels of, and explore factors associated with, brachycephalic dog owners' intentions to: (i) reacquire and/or (ii) recommend their current breed to potential first-time dog owners, and (2) to use qualitative methods to explore why brachycephalic dog owners would or would not recommend their current breed. This large mixed methods study reports on 2168 owners of brachycephalic breeds (Pugs: n = 789; French Bulldog: n = 741; Bulldogs: n = 638). Owners were highly likely to want to own their breed again in the future (93.0%) and recommend their breed to other owners (65.5%). Statistical modelling identified that first-time ownership and increased strength of the dog-owner relationship increased the likelihood of reacquisi-tion and/or recommendation. In contrast, an increased number of health problems, positive perception of their dog's health compared with the rest of their breed, and dog behaviour being worse than expected decreased the likelihood of reacquisition and/or recommendation. Thematic analyses constructed three themes describing why owners recommend their breed: positive behavioural attributes for a companion dog, breed suited to a sedentary lifestyle with limited space, and suitability for households with children. Five themes described why owners recommended against their breed: high prevalence of health problems, expense of ownership, ethical and welfare issues associated with breeding brachycephalic dogs, negative effects upon owner lifestyle and negative behavioural attributes. Understanding how breed-loyalty develops, and whether it can be attenuated, will be key to controlling the current population boom in brachycephalic breeds in the long-term.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: PLoS ONE
Creators: Packer, R.M.A., O'Neill, D.G., Fletcher, F. and Farnworth, M.J.
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Date: 26 August 2020
Volume: 15
Number: 8
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1371/journal.pone.0237276DOI
1363231Other
Rights: Copyright: This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 09 Oct 2020 15:42
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2020 15:42
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/41240

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View

Views

Views per month over past year

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year