Dog-friendly design: Exploring materials and finishes as they relate to dog ownership
The purpose of this study is to investigate materials and finishes in residential homes which are often damaged by dogs and to correlate these damaging behaviors to other factors. This information was gathered through a two-fold approach. First, a comprehensive review of literature regarding household furnishings and finishes and a sensory and behavioral analysis of dogs is performed. The research includes properties and characteristics of finishes and furnishings commonly used in residential households. The behavioral analysis conducted analyzes the factors that contribute to destructive behavior in dogs. An analysis of dogs' sensory systems and how they impact the way they perceive the world concluded the review of literature.
The second method of data collection performed for this study is a survey of current dog owners. This survey obtains information regarding three areas of dog ownership. The first category gains information pertaining to participant housing status, geographical location and the number of dogs in the household. The second area obtains information about the household dog(s). Dog breed, amount of shedding, and where the dog was obtained are the areas covered within this section. The final portion of the survey asks participants to respond to questions regarding damaging behavior, what items were damaged, time dogs spent home alone, how they spend their time home alone, daily exercise for the dog and general grooming habits. For households with more than one dog, participants were asked to answer the questions about one dog at a time.
Once the survey information was obtained, the data is analyzed, compared and contrasted to a number of factors. Once patterns and correlations have been identified, the final discussion makes recommendations based on the anecdotal evidence provided by dog owners and the evidence-based research found in the review of literature.