Purchasing popular purebreds: investigating the influence of breed-type on the pre-purchase motivations and behaviour of dog owners

Packer, R.M.A., Murphy, D. and Farnworth, M.J. ORCID: 0000-0001-6226-0818, 2017. Purchasing popular purebreds: investigating the influence of breed-type on the pre-purchase motivations and behaviour of dog owners. Animal Welfare, 26 (2), pp. 191-201. ISSN 0962-7286

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How and why dog owners select a specific breed may impact upon the health of the dog they acquire, and upon the wider health of the breed they select. Brachycephalic (BC) breeds are rapidly increasing in popularity despite increasing evidence linking brachycephalism with chronic and severe health conditions. This study used a questionnaire to explore pre, during and post-purchase behaviours and attitudes of dog-owners who own popular BC dog breeds (n=3 breeds) compared to popular non-BC dog breeds (n=7 breeds). The survey received 1427 valid responses. BC breed owners were younger, more likely to live with children, and to be buying their chosen breed for the first time. The factor that most highly influenced BC owner’s decisions to buy their breed was appearance, followed by breed size suited to lifestyle, good dog breed for children and good companion breed. Perceived health of the breed was less influential in decision-making for BC owners compared to non-BC owners. The way in which owners acquired their dog differed by breed type, with BC owners more likely to use puppy selling websites to find their dog, less likely to see either parent of their puppy, and less likely to ask to see any health records. Despite many BC breed health issues being directly related to conformation, appearance remains the most significant determinant in why people desire these breeds. More targeted educational interventions are needed to change buyer attitudes and, if ineffective, other more direct mechanisms (e.g. legislation) may be required to protect canine welfare.

Item Type: Journal article
Alternative Title: Pre-purchase owner behaviour and purebred dogs [working title]
Publication Title: Animal Welfare
Creators: Packer, R.M.A., Murphy, D. and Farnworth, M.J.
Publisher: Universities Federation for Animal Welfare
Date: 1 May 2017
Volume: 26
Number: 2
ISSN: 0962-7286
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 22 Feb 2018 11:04
Last Modified: 01 May 2018 03:00
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/32784

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