Behaviourally effective communication and engagement in the management of wild dogs


Changing behaviour, and sustaining these changes over time, is difficult. Educating the public about the negative impacts of wild dogs and providing information about control strategies is rarely enough to initiate and sustain practice change. Best practice community engagement requires a combination of practical ‘soft skills’ for facilitating dialogue and designing equitable processes, with in-depth understanding of the factors that prevent landholders from adopting best practices for managing wild dogs on their propertiesThis project uses behavioural science principles to assist wild dog facilitators to understand and engage more effectively with non-participating landholders.




  1. To accelerate sustainable landholder-led participation in best practice wild dog management techniques through application of behavioural science and targeted engagement
  2. To build practitioner capacity for best practice community engagement through learning network development
  3. To identify the different audience segments for wild dog management and develop tailored and targeted engagement approaches for those segments that are not currently taking action
  4. To compare the effectiveness of these tailored and targeted approaches with existing approaches
  5. To contribute to CISS thinking about the effectiveness of face-to-face and digital engagement in facilitating the adoption of best practice wild dog management techniques
  6. To combine this knowledge of what works and with whom, to increase engagement across all targeted audience segments.

Project Leader

Prof. Don Hine
Project Team
  • Professor Don Hine, UNE 
  • Dr Lynette McLeod, UNE 
  • Huw Nolan, UNE 
  • Methuen Morgan, UNE 
  • Greg Mifsud, CISS 
  • Associate Professor Richard Price, CISS 
Project Partners
  • University of New England (UNE)
  • Meat and Livestock Australia Limited (MLA) 
  • Australian Wool Innovation Ltd (AWI) 
  • Western Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (WA DPIRD)


February 2019: 

Stakeholder interviews were conducted to identify key landholder behaviours associated with wild dog management. These stakeholders were a mixture of wild dog coordinators, researchers and personnel from organisations involved in wild dog management from across Australia. They were contacted a second time to rate the impact of each of the identified key behaviours to further assist in the behaviour selection process. 

Completion of the interviews have identified 17 key behaviours for wild dog management. 

Commencement of the rural landholder survey using an online questionnaire will help further understand these behaviours so that appropriate engagement tactics (behaviourally effective) can be utilised  

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