MG&A Veterinary market research: Unwanted or anti-social behaviour in dogs

Some behaviours exhibited by dogs, although considered anti-social by humans, may of course be perfectly natural for a dog e.g. barking when someone is at the door or digging up the garden. Many of these can be improved with positive re-enforcement training to teach the dog what we humans find acceptable.

There are some behaviours, however, that point to a symptom of something being wrong and the resulting behaviour is a coping mechanism for the stress experienced. Dogs Trust has some useful materials on this subject

Without any judgement as to whether or not the following behaviours are acceptable or not, we asked dog owners, “Bearing in mind the survey is completely anonymous, thinking about [NAME OF DOG], which, if any, of the following behaviours do they exhibit”.

The most common behaviour exhibited was “has a phobia of, or a problem with, loud or sudden noises e.g. bangs, fireworks etc” with just under half (47%) of the owners surveyed saying their dog exhibited this behaviour. The next most common behaviour with a third of owners (36%) saying it related to their dog was “separation anxiety – the dog becomes anxious if you leave it alone”, followed by a quarter (28%) agreeing that their dog was “barking too much / inappropriately”. Around a fifth of owners (21%) admitted to their dog showing “aggression towards other dogs when out walking” and 17% to “destructive behaviour in the garden e.g. digging up lawns, flower beds etc”. Fewer (14%) showed destructive behaviour in the house e.g. scratching at doors, chewing etc”. Finally, although the lowest percentage, perhaps the most worrying of behaviours recorded, 6% of dog owners said their dog showed “aggression towards people”.

MG&A conducted an online survey among 250 dog owners in December 2016. The questions ranged from the serious to the frivolous.

About the sample:

All respondents were dog owners:
• Aged or 21y or older with 9% over 60y
• Either totally or jointly responsible for the health and well-being of the dog
• Living in UK

In addition to at least one dog:
• 27% had a cat
• 10% had a small furry

If you would like further information on this survey or you would like to discuss the possibility of MG&A conducting a bespoke survey for you among pet owners, farmers, vets or other healthcare professionals, please do get in touch or contact Mo through LinkedIn

Who is MG&A?

Based near London in UK, Mo Gannon & Associates (MG&A) provides B2B and B2C marketing consultancy and marketing research, specialising in agriculture, animal health and veterinary markets, both in UK and internationally.

MG&A utilises a wide range of quantitative and qualitative methodologies, including several different online approaches, in order to help clients achieve their objectives.

Typical challenges our clients ask us to help them with include…

• Identifying and satisfying market opportunities
• Generating, refining and evaluating marketing activities
• Monitoring market performance

These objectives often include techniques such as Gabor Granger or Van Westendorp pricing models, market segmentation, providing Net Promoter Scores etc. MG&A also facilitates large group Stakeholder Engagement Workshops for clients and their customers. More information can be found at or on LinkedIn

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