Research survey – vocalisation behaviour in the domestic dog, and its potential to vary by breed
The Society have been approached by a masters student at Bangor Uni – to share their survey to Finnish Lapphund owners, the background to the survey is given below, along with digital consent statement and the survey link :
My name is Samantha Brierley and I am a master’s student of Zoology with Animal Behaviour at Bangor University. My research investigates vocalisation behaviour in the domestic dog, and its potential to vary by breed. I am collecting behavioural data via an owner-directed questionnaire which asks about the typical vocal behaviour of a person’s dog.
This type of empirical research into vocalisation behaviour is the first of its kind for the species, allowing us to finally explore whether breeds show a consistent level of vocality, regardless of individual personality or environment, as is anecdotally assumed by many. This research can provide potential dog owners with scientifically accurate information regarding how vocal or noisy a breed typically is, and in what ways, prior to acquisition of a dog. My aim is ultimately to reduce the rate of dogs unnecessarily relinquished to shelters due to unmet or violated behavioural expectations.
I am writing to you to request your aid in distributing this research questionnaire. As you may know, the Finnish Lapphund is a spitz breed, though it’s relative genetic relatedness to the wolf has not yet been established. The behavioural differences between the modern European breeds and the Ancient breeds, whom are much closer genetically to the wolf, are a focal interest in this study. We would like to be able to compare behaviour between genetically confirmed ancient breeds and potentially ancient breeds, such as the Finnish Lapphund! Behavioural and vocal similarities between Lapphunds and breeds confirmed genetically ancient may indicate that they deserve further attention. Unfortunately, Finnish Lapphunds are routinely underrepresented or ignored in empirical studies. They are so uncommon that often, any data we do have for them cannot be appropriately analysed because there are too few individuals. I am also unaware of any vocalisation stereotypes with the breed, so it would be very interesting to see their results in this study! Your participation in this survey will allow us to properly investigate the vocal behaviour of this unique breed and represent them adequately in at least one part of the domestic dog behaviour field.
The survey is totally anonymous and requires ~10 minutes to complete. It asks several non-identifying demographic questions and experimental questions regarding the dog’s behaviour. The contents of this questionnaire have passed ethical review according to the University of Bangor’s code of research practice.
Our digital survey tool and photograph-submission tool are GDPR-compliant and retain no identifiable or sensitive data.
The questionnaire is intended to be available for at least 6 weeks, dependent on the rate of responses.
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