Project Title

FACTORS INFLUENCING DOG ADOPTABILITY

Presenters

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Psychological Science

Faculty Sponsor Name

Amy Buddie

Additional Faculty

Sharon Pearcey, Psychology, spearcey@kennesaw.edu

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Research shows that physical characteristics are among the most important factors when it comes to adopting or buying a dog (Lepper, Kass, & Hart, 2002). Most of the current research focuses on training dogs or statistics that are provided by shelters. I wanted to expand on the literature by surveying potential adopters and/or buyers. I also wanted to expand the literature by asking about specific characteristics that people look for in a dog. I am also looking to see what characteristics are less significant when people look for a new dog. The reason for this is that current research has shown that labeling a dog a certain breed has increased the length of the stay in the shelter for the dog (Gunter, Barber, & Wynne, 2016). For this project, I reached out to a local animal shelter and asked for their help in recruiting potential participants. They posted the anonymous survey link on their social media networks. I also posted the survey link on my social media networks. The survey contains demographic questions as well as questions relating to exactly what a potential adopter is looking for in a dog. There are 156 participants in the study currently. I hypothesize that behavioral characteristics, such as aggressiveness or an ability to get along with children, will be less influential to the decision-making process compared to physical characteristics. I expect to find that other characteristics, such as information on a card (weight, dog’s background, etc.) or the distance to obtain the dog will have a lower influence on a person’s likelihood to adopt a dog. The results of this study can help shelters better understand the factors associated with dog adoptability and can contribute to conversations regarding the adoptability of dogs who have been labeled as aggressive breeds, such as pit bulls.

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

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FACTORS INFLUENCING DOG ADOPTABILITY

Research shows that physical characteristics are among the most important factors when it comes to adopting or buying a dog (Lepper, Kass, & Hart, 2002). Most of the current research focuses on training dogs or statistics that are provided by shelters. I wanted to expand on the literature by surveying potential adopters and/or buyers. I also wanted to expand the literature by asking about specific characteristics that people look for in a dog. I am also looking to see what characteristics are less significant when people look for a new dog. The reason for this is that current research has shown that labeling a dog a certain breed has increased the length of the stay in the shelter for the dog (Gunter, Barber, & Wynne, 2016). For this project, I reached out to a local animal shelter and asked for their help in recruiting potential participants. They posted the anonymous survey link on their social media networks. I also posted the survey link on my social media networks. The survey contains demographic questions as well as questions relating to exactly what a potential adopter is looking for in a dog. There are 156 participants in the study currently. I hypothesize that behavioral characteristics, such as aggressiveness or an ability to get along with children, will be less influential to the decision-making process compared to physical characteristics. I expect to find that other characteristics, such as information on a card (weight, dog’s background, etc.) or the distance to obtain the dog will have a lower influence on a person’s likelihood to adopt a dog. The results of this study can help shelters better understand the factors associated with dog adoptability and can contribute to conversations regarding the adoptability of dogs who have been labeled as aggressive breeds, such as pit bulls.