Vol. 1 No. 2 (2015)

Correlation between the size of companion dogs and the profile of the owner: a cross-sectional study in ItalyMarian

Federica Pirrone
Department of Veterinary Science and Public Health, University of Milan, via Celoria 10, 20133 Milan, Italy

Published 2015-07-28


  • Dog,
  • dog size,
  • dog owner


The correlation between people characteristics and ownership of dog of a given size over others was investigated surveying a sample of Italian dog owners over the Internet. The regression analyses revealed predictors which were significant in differentiating owners of small dogs from the others. They were significantly more likely to have a low education level, to live in a house without a yard and to have given importance to dog size in the pet selection process, for accommodation-related reasons. They were more likely to have purchased their dogs as puppies from a pet shop early in their life (30-50 days old) and to dress up their pets. However, they were less likely to train their dogs and to purchase insurance against third-party liability. These findings may be useful to those working within the pet health and welfare professions, to assess population changes, in terms of human-pet bonds and animal care.