Why Let the Dogs Out? Exploring Variables Associated with Dog Confinement and General Characteristics of the Free-ranging Owned-Dog Population in a Peri-urban Area

Francisca Astorga, Daniela Alejandra Poo-Muñoz, John Organ, Gonzalo Medina-Vogel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Free-ranging dogs (FRDs), are a problem in several countries, with impacts on humans, domestic animals, and wildlife, although increasing evidence suggests that most FRDs are owned. Therefore, understanding dog ownership on a fine scale is critical. The main objectives of this study were to explore dog management in rural localities from central Chile focusing on modeling owner-related variables associated with dog confinement and characterize confined and FRDs populations. Interviews (170) were carried out in Paine municipality, reporting a human:dog ratio of 1.5:1, and dogs in most households (85.9%, 146/170). Thirty-seven percent (54/146) of those households did not confine their dog(s) to some degree, and 41% (196/472) of surveyed dogs were FRD. Based on multivariable logistic regression models, non-confinement was decreased by (i) negative opinion of owners toward roaming behavior of their dogs, (ii) negative opinion toward FRDs, among others. Dog confinement increased along with owners' concerns about the impacts of their dogs on others. Owned-FRDs tended to have poorer general care than confined dogs. Our findings represent a contribution to the understanding of the human dimensions behind FRDs and provide critical quantitative elements to consider when planning effective control strategies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • dog confinement
  • Free-ranging dogs
  • pet management
  • pet ownership
  • stray dog

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)

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