How to conduct a dog ecology survey

The canine ecology survey sample provided here was utilized in KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa where the domestic dog is the primary maintenance host and vector for rabies.

It is composed of two parts, as recommended by the WHO. The household part not only gains demographic information but also allows non-dog owners a chance to express opinions. The second part is for individual dogs owned by the respondents.

At the top of the household survey, there is a space to record how many dogs are observed on the property so that a general dog count can be made even for those households which decline to participate. Occasionally there are more or fewer dogs present on the property than are actually owned by the household, which gives an indication of dog movements in the community.

Questions on canine ecology surveys should be formatted to culturally and geographically fit the area in which the study is to take place. Points of interest to the researcher can be tailored by changing the questions and answer choices to suit the environment. Smaller, more specific studies can be developed from a section of queries represented here, such as a prospective cohort study on a sub-population of dogs, or an in-depth survey into response to bite wounds.

Information on dog ecology surveys was kindly provided by Dr. Melinda Hergert, University of Pretoria, Onderstepoort, South Africa. You can contact her for assistance at [email protected].

PDF - 64.4 kb
Household survey
PDF - 31.8 kb
Individual Dog Survey

There are papers that detail the use of dog ecology surveys, here.

WHO = World Health Organization

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Version 4 - last updated May 2017