The DogFace project

Who are we?

We are a team of researchers based at the University of Edinburgh and the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies working in collaboration with the Worldwide Veterinary Service to help improve the lives of street dogs all over the world.

Why do we want your photos?

We need massive numbers of dog photos to train Artificial Intelligent algorithms to recognise individual dogs. This will help us better understand free-roaming dog populations, allowing us to identify individual dogs and monitor them over time.

What kind of photos do we want?

  • At least 6 photos of your dog

  • Photos from different times, different places and at different angles

  • No other dogs, animals, people or identifying information (e.g. car registration/unique buildings/close-up of ID tag) in the photos

  • No toys in mouth or fancy outfits please! Harnesses are fine but try to include some photos without them if possible!

  • Good quality - no blurred or downloaded images please

Please click here to see our example photos!

How do I know if a photo is good enough?

A good rule of thumb is that if you can recognise your dog in the photo, the computer has a chance and this would be a good photo to post. If you can’t recognise your dog from the photo, the computer probably won’t either, so it is not suitable.

Why do we want multiple photos?

We need several photos of the same dog, so that we can train and test the computer algorithms. Ideally these photos have been taken at a different time and in a different place, at a slightly different camera angle, so that the computer can learn what are the defining features of each dog.

How can I upload my photos?

Option A. Share your photos by Facebook

  • Follow this link to the facebook group page

  • Join the group

  • From the group main page start a post in the 'What's on your mind, ....?' field

  • Select at least 6 photos to upload

  • Click Post!

  • Please also click the Share button and help us recruit more dog owners to join in the project!

If you want to add more photos later - you can go back to the post/folder and click ‘edit’

Option B. Share your photos by Email

  • Please email with at least 6 photos of your dog

  • Email title should contain the dog's sex and breed separated by commas (e.g. Border Collie, Female)

  • Email text: Please check you agree with the following statements. If so, copy the following text in your email text and add your full name.

I, <Full Name>, confirm that....

  1. I am over 18 years of age

  2. I will only upload my own photos.

  3. I hereby agree to allow the University of Edinburgh to use my images for the purposes of non-commercial academic research, teaching, education, public evaluation, and for sharing with other researchers.

  4. I acknowledge that I will not receive any payment from the University of Edinburgh in return for providing my images, either now or at any point in the future.

  5. I consent to assigning a non-exclusive licence for images I upload to the University of Edinburgh.

What if I have multiple dogs?

They can all join in! Please make a new post or email for each dog, and make sure the photos only have one dog in them.

What will happen to my photos?

The DogFace team will download the photos from Facebook/Email and remove any personally identifiable information as soon as possible. Then, the anonymised photos will then be used in training the AI algorithms. The photos may be used for non-commercial purposes and may be shared, without any personally identifying information, in an open forum to assist future research.

Can I opt out?

You are able to opt out of the research at any point before you upload the photos to the facebook group or email. After we have anonymised your photos we will be unable to remove you from the study. However, you are able to delete your own photos from the Facebook group at any time.

What does 'assigning non-exclusive licence' mean?'

Assigning a non-exclusive licence means that the University of Edinburgh will be able to redistribute your photos anonymously (i.e. no name or details will be associated with the photo) for future research. Participants give this licence in perpetuity and cannot remove the images from the dataset in future (though they can be deleted from the facebook group). Participants still retain the copyright of their images for their own future use.

How can I find out more information?

Please click here for the contact us page!