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Effects of Video Footage Versus Photographs on Perception of Dog Behavioral Traits

By Chloe Pyzer, Lucy Clarke, V. Tamara Montrose

Category Journal Articles

Photographs are frequently used to promote adoption of dogs on rescue shelter websites. While physical traits are well illustrated via photographs, conveying a dog's behavioral traits is more problematic. Traits such as sociability, obedience, and friendliness are likely to be better displayed via video footage. This study explored the effects of video versus photographs on the perception of dog behavioral traits. Four dogs from a Gloucestershire Rescue Shelter (2 desirable breeds, 2 from a stigmatized breed) were individually photographed, and a 30-s video of each was recorded. Two questionnaires were produced containing either a video or photograph of each dog. Each questionnaire presented all 4 dogs but via different media. Participants rated their agreement with 12 statements relating to their perceptions of the dog seen. Dogs viewed via video were considered to be more trainable, intelligent, friendly, and gentle and less dominant, aggressive, and unsociable. This finding was observed in desired and stigmatized breeds. Perceived behavioral traits can impact the likelihood of adoption. These findings suggest that greater use of video footage by rehoming shelters could help promote dog adoptions.

Publication Title Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume 20
Issue 1
Pages 42-51
ISBN/ISSN 1088-8705
DOI 10.1080/10888705.2016.1229186
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Dogs
  2. Rehome
  3. video recordings