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Pet owners' views of pet behavior problems and willingness to consult experts for assistance

By E. R. Shore, C. Burdsal, D. K. Douglas

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Prior research has found that dog obedience training and the receipt of advice regarding companion animal (pet) behavior reduce the risk of nonhuman animal relinquishment to an animal shelter and increase human-companion animal interactions, but research also finds that only a minority of pet guardians participates in such activities. The researchers for this study asked 170 dog and cat guardians to assess the seriousness of common problem behaviors and how likely they were to seek help. The researchers also asked them to rate different methods of obtaining expert advice. The dog and cat guardians saw behaviors directly affecting humans as most severe; those involving the destruction of property were next in severity; and those affecting the animal more than the human were least severe. There were no significant differences in ratings by participants' gender or income. Participants indicated they were more likely to use free help options than fee-based services. The lack of a clear correlation between the seriousness of a behavior problem and likelihood of seeking help suggests that other factors may play a role in pet guardians' interest in obtaining expert advice.

Publication Title Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume 11
Issue 1
Pages 63-73
ISBN/ISSN 1088-8705
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1080/10888700701729221
Language English
Author Address Psychology Department, Wichita State University, 1845 Fairmount, Wichita, KS 67260,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Abnormal behavior
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animal rights
  4. Animals
  5. Animal welfare
  6. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  7. Canidae
  8. Canine
  9. Carnivores
  10. Cats
  11. Deviant behavior
  12. Dogs
  13. Mammals
  14. peer-reviewed
  15. Pet ownership
  16. Pets and companion animals
  17. vertebrates
  1. peer-reviewed