Review of principles governing dog health education in remote Aboriginal communities

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Conducting effective and culturally sensitive dog health education programs in Aboriginal communities requires an understanding of appropriate adult education and community development principles. Finding relevant material can be difficult, given that many of the available resources are in the ‘grey literature’. Aims and objectives: To critically review publications addressing the principles governing dog health education in remote Aboriginal communities. Methods: A critical review was performed by searching English language peer-reviewed and grey literature databases for papers published between 2010 and 2018. Besides a small number of peer-reviewed papers, there was an extensive list of reports, educational material, guidelines and posters and pamphlets that illustrated the principles. Only a small amount of this grey literature was selected for the review. Selection was based on the publication illustrating a specific principle of dog health education. The material was organised around educational themes highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of these publications. Results: Findings suggested that although relevant literature is scattered, there are clear processes for conducting culturally appropriate and effective dog health programs in Australian Indigenous communities. Two major principles were identified: acknowledging the effect on education of the ambiguity around the status of dogs in Aboriginal communities, and embedding programs within a social determinant of health framework or community development approach. These two principles provide guidance on negotiating educational sessions, the preparation of culturally appropriate materials, teaching sessions and what learning styles to foster and the use of a health promotion approach. Conclusions: Some contradictions exist within the literature, particularly around the use of images, and consistent with the first principle, a hesitancy to engage with Aboriginal people around the issue of dog health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-9
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian Veterinary Journal
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • dingoes
  • dog health
  • education
  • ndigenous communities
  • zoonoses
  • Indigenous communities


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