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  1. ITV Report

Dogs of all shapes & sizes wanted for university study

Photo: ITV Anglia

A dog-lover from Northamptonshire has found the perfect PhD project. Lecturer and part-time student, Claire Mitchell, is studying dogs' faces and she is asking owners to send her pictures of their pets.

Credit: ITV Anglia

Claire is measuring hundreds of diffferent dogs' skulls as part of a 6-year study. She is hoping to find out more about the link between a dog's head shape and its health.

"We know that there are a lot of disorders associated with dog face shapes, things like respiratory disorders with very flat-faced dogs and there's some anecdotal evidence that longer-faced dogs might have more dental problems, because there's more exposed gums. So, I'm looking at categorising the skull shapes better, so, looking to see whether we have more categories than we currently use and to see whether each of those categories are more or less likely to have each of these diseases that we know, already exist."

– Claire Mitchell, PHD Student
  • Click to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Sarah Byrd

Claire wants people to send her photos of their dogs' faces, so she can collect their measurements. More than 200 people have already been in touch. Claire is hoping to create new categories for dogs' face shapes.

Vet, Jeremy Onyett, thinks that will help people keep their dogs healthy.

"Well, I think, in categorising the shape of a dog's face, one is hoping to educate clients that dogs with flatter faces may be pre-disposed to certain diseases and they need to be prepared to be able to care for those and seek veterinary help to improve the dog's quality of life."

– Jeremy Onyett, Vet

If you want your dog to take part in Claire's study, click here for more details.