The University of Salford is conducting a study exploring the relationship between children and dogs.
Anna, her son Sen, and their dog Mo.
The study is funded by dog’s trust and will take place between from May to August.
Anna who is one of the organisers for the study said, “There is quite a lot of research now that shows that being around dogs’ benefits children. We are interested in seeing if the relationship works both ways, and if children benefit dogs too.”
“We hope to find out if in the case that sometimes children don’t necessarily improve their dog’s lives, then how we can work to fix that and help children who live with dogs to improve their family dog’s quality of life by adjusting how they behave around them.”
The study aims to recruit at least 30 families.
“So far I have had quite a lot of interested families get in touch, but I am still interested in hearing from more.”
The study is wanting dog owning families with children aged 7-11 living in, or close to Salford to take part. All breed of dog is welcome to take part.
“All shapes, sizes, breeds, cross breeds or ‘Heinz 57s’ welcome!”
“The dog should be behaviourally not afraid or reactive of strangers however as the study will involve myself or a colleague visiting your house to take a saliva swab from their cheek to measure their stress and other things. This doesn’t hurt them.”
“It’s a bit like a COVID test but far less invasive than that. “
“The findings will immediately go towards strategies to work towards improving dog welfare and reducing dog bites in their schools-based programme Be Dog Smart and wider global education programmes that work with children in order to influence their behaviour around dogs.”
Participants will receive some tips and advice that they can try to improve their child and dogs’ relationship.
“This will be quite basic for those only taking part in the surveys and dog cheek swabs, but for those who take part in the camera footage part of the study we will be able to provide more detailed advice.”
“Everyone signing up via social media such as this will also receive a doggie goodie bag at the end of participating.”
Next year the study wants to recruit families through Salford primary schools, aiming to recruit up to 200 Salford families.
“I’d love to hear from anyone who works with Key Stage 2 in Salford schools who might be interested in taking part next year too.”
For more information and details on how to participate in this study contact Anna at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo taken By Anna