Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Winter 2007


Dundar Kocaoglu

Course Title

Decision Making in Engineering and Technology Management

Course Number

ETM 530/630


Every year 6 to 8 million dogs and cats are abandoned by their owners in U.S. animal shelters. Out of these, hundreds of thousands are “put to sleep” each year to make room for new arrivals. In the case for dogs, behavior problems and incompatibility with their owners’ lifestyles are cited as the most common reasons for releasing these companion animals to the shelters. Recent studies have shown that many owners have unrealistic expectations of their dogs. They expect their dogs to act and behave in a certain way that is inconsistent with the breeds’ characteristics. The goal of this study is to address this problem by proposing a decision model to help potential dog owners select the right dog, a dog that is compatible with their unique lifestyle and living situation, for their family. A well selected dog not only enriches the life of its owner but is less likely to be surrendered to the pound. Since owning a dog is a serious long-term commitment, choosing the right dog breed can be overwhelming and is definitely non-trivial. The model developed here uses the Hierarchical Decision Modeling principles to help decision makers simplify and decompose this complex endeavor into more manageable hierarchical elements. This study offers potential dog owners a comprehensive decision model to guide them in making more informed and conscientious dog breed selections.


This project is only available to students, faculty, and staff of Portland State University.

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