App launched to fix dogged problems

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Photo: Mel Fox of What about Charlie photography.
Photo: Mel Fox of What about Charlie photography.

The University of Sydney has developed a world-first app that will not only help owners boost their dogs’ happiness and health; it could also play a lifesaving role by teaching young dogs to behave better—thereby reducing their chance of premature death.

Research from the UK has revealed that the leading cause of death in dogs under the age of three relates to behavioural problems, due to which they are often abandoned or euthanased. Young wayward dogs are also commonly involved in car accidents.

Doglogbook has been designed by animal welfare scientists from the university’s Faculty of Veterinary Science to be a dog’s new best friend, helping ensure optimum quality of life and happiness—from puppyhood through to old age to assist with difficult end-of-life decisions.

The app draws on the university’s new science of ‘dogmanship’—a term coined by Professor Paul McGreevy at the School of Life and Environmental Sciences.

“Dogs can easily be socialised so they do not display the common behavioural problems that relate to anxiety—which is where the doglogbook comes in, guiding owners as they socialise their pups, making pups more worldly and potentially even saving their lives,” said Professor McGreevy adding that doglogbook will, for the first time, enable dog owners to gather and review real data about their dog’s healthcare, management and preferences.

“The data generated by users of doglogbook, as valued citizen scientists, will be available to researchers and also used to inform and educate the next generation of veterinarians,” he said.

Doglogbook is available online and is free to download from iTunes and Google App stores. In the meantime, check out this month’s two-part series ‘Making Dogs Happy’ (Parts 1 & 2) on ABC TV’s Catalyst, which officially launched the app.

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