Monday, January 18th, 2016
A new national survey of dog owners is aiming to better understand what collars, halters or harnesses they commonly use to walk their dogs, in the hopes of providing improved advice about dog equipment.

The survey is being conducted by the University of Adelaide’s School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, which is keen to find out whether the type of exercise equipment being used has an influence on the frequency and quality of the exercise dogs receive.

“Go to any pet store and you’ll see there is a huge array of dog collars, leashes and harnesses available. This could be overwhelming for many, especially for novice dog owners, and can make their choices daunting,” says University of Adelaide Honours student Petra Edwards.

“If dogs are difficult to walk, owners may be less likely to take them out. Specific types of equipment could work better with some dogs, and we hope to learn more about this with our survey.”

Ms Edwards, who is also an animal behaviour consultant, says inadequate exercise and mental stimulation may lead to behavioural problems in dogs.

“We know that exercise for pets, as with people, is incredibly important for their physical and mental health and wellbeing,” she says. “A dog that has recurring behavioural problems due to lack of exercise could result in the owners giving up the dog, but the solution to their problem might be easier than they think.”

This study is believed to be the first of its kind to gain insight into what types of pet dog exercise equipment are being used and why.

“The information provided by Australian dog owners will give us much-needed insight into the current use of pet dog equipment, and their attitudes towards dogs and training methods”.

“We hope that our research will ultimately result in better exercise for dogs, helping to improve dog welfare and the human-animal bond,” Ms Edwards says.

The survey is open to all dog owners in Australia over the age of 18 and can be found online at:

Media Contact:

Petra Edwards
Honours student
School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

The University of Adelaide
Mobile: +61 (0)439 471 440
[email protected]

Dr Susan Hazel
Senior Lecturer
School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

The University of Adelaide
Mobile: +61 (0)402 325 876
[email protected]

Kate Bourne

Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
Phone: +61 8 8313 3173
Mobile: +61 (0)457 537 677
[email protected]

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