The Retrieva collar has been selected as the data collection system for a research project aimed at understanding dog movements as part of a control programme for reducing the incidence of rabies in Bhutan, a land-locked Kingdom north of India. The project is funded through the World Bank and is part of a wider programme looking into animal/human communicable diseases.
Over the last 6 months Retrieva have been working with Dr. Tenzin from the National Centre for Animal Health in Bhutan and Dr. Peter Jolly and his colleagues from Massey University in New Zealand on the use of the collar for this research project. The aim is to monitor the movement and home range of stray or feral dogs.
This type of research creates numerous practical challenges for academics and technology. The software and power management system within the collar has been enhanced specifically for the work. Communication challenges exist on the ground as to how data can be downloaded in a country with developing infrastructure.
A batch of Retrieva collars are now on the way to Bhutan for deployment in the field.
An exciting, new and enterprising MSc project is currently being undertaken using the Retrieva GPS tracking collars by postgraduate student Helen Reynolds at Manchester Metropolitan University.
This project is working in collaboration with the West Yorkshire Police Dog Unit and the British Association German Shepherd Club - Leeds branch, and is examining behavioural observations of dogs whilst being exercised off-lead in order to answer the research question 'Is there a relationship between personality traits, habit use and interactions with handlers in Police dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) compared to Pet dogs'.
This has never been done before and will be excellent primary research within the canine research domain as well as for pet owners and working dogs organisations. Helen is supervised by Dr. Matthew Sullivan and has almost completed all of the field work, and has just started the analysis phase. Final submission of the project will be in 2014."
The collar will change your relationship with your dog!
The Open University has found through research that dogs’ behaviour changed positively, when a using the Retrieva tracking collar. The study said the stress of knowing the location of their pet dog when off the lead was minimised and resulted in the dog being given more freedom and becoming more contented.
The research was designed to explore human-animal interaction using the collar. The evaluation took two different forms: observation of the animals’ behaviour and testimonials of their human companions.
When asked, many of the human participants recalled how distressing it had been for them when their dog had gone missing and since wearing the tracking collar the dogs were more relaxed because they were more relaxed. In addition, dogs returned to their owners independently and more frequently, despite their names not being called constantly during the walk.
The Study was conducted by Dr Clara Mancini, Research Fellow at the Computing Department of The Open University.