How do prospective dog owners make decisions make decisions about the dog and where to acquire from?

  • Key finding:

    How do prospective dog owners make decisions about which breed, type or individual dog to acquire, and where to acquire a dog from? Despite the popularity of dog ownership in the UK, with many people acquiring a dog over their lifetime, the experience of dog acquisition is not fully understood. Knowledge of this process is relevant as the trade in pet dogs, including acquisition practices, can affect their welfare. It is important that we understand this process and learn how to best encourage responsible acquisition behaviour through preventive measures (e.g., education and campaigns) that may help forestall some cases of future relinquishment. This literature review by Dogs Trust researcher Katrina Holland (with support from AWRN members Melissa Upjohn and Rebecca Mead) collates existing research investigating the motivations and behaviours of owners as they undergo the process of acquiring a dog. The Dogs Trust research team are currently working on a study, combining quantitative and qualitative research methods, to understand the factors that influence how and why people acquire dogs in the UK.

Links to Open Access Publications or DOI:


Holland, K.E. Acquiring a Pet Dog: A Review of Factors Affecting the Decision-Making of Prospective Dog Owners. Animals 2019, 9, 124