A researcher at the University of Lincoln, UK, is conducting two studies looking to gain a deeper understanding of the factors behind dog surrender.

Karen Griffin, PhD student in the School of Life Sciences, is looking for volunteers to complete two different surveys examining the factors that lead to people giving up or keeping their dog.

The first survey (click here) is for anybody who has ever voluntarily given up a pet dog in the past, to another individual, party or organisation.

The second survey (click here) is for long-term dog owners, examining factors that lead to people keeping their dogs. Participants must have owned their pet dog for a minimum of three years, and the dog must have lived with them for them for the duration of this time.

Measures for both surveys have been adapted from their original purpose of placing human foster children with families, to be relevant to the dog-owner relationship. As such, some of the items included in the questionnaires may seem unusual or irrelevant.

However, one of the aims of this research is to determine which items are necessary and which items can be omitted without affecting the validity of the adapted measures.

Participation in this research would involve the anonymous completion of two questionnaire-style surveys and a form to gather data about the participant and the dog. For the second survey participants would also be asked to complete a brief survey about how they feel about their relationship with their dog.

The research has the potential to greatly aid the efficiency of finding appropriate homes for dogs in the future. The ultimate aim would be the creation of an accessible and easily administrable measure to be employed at rescue centres and other such organisations during the rehoming process, to identify different at-risk adopters, so that limited resources can be focused more effectively in providing support where necessary.

Each survey takes approximately 15-20 minutes to complete.

Karen has previously been interviewed about her research on Scientific American Blog, Dog Spies.

(Photo credit: Jerry Green Dog Rescue)