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Assessing the dog: a theoretical analysis of the companion animal's actions in human-animal interactions

By C. Vitztum, J. Urbanik

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Abstract

Companion animals are proposed as valuable assets in human-animal interaction (HAI) for human-health interventions. The benefit of a HAI is presumably based on the interaction between the two species. Although the actions and reactions of the human are routinely evaluated, nominal consideration is given to the influence of the nonhuman animal's actions in the interaction as well as in the outcome of the intervention despite evidence in studies demonstrating the cognitive, emotional, and physical capabilities of the animal. The attributes of the dog and the current role of the dog in animal-assisted therapy (AAT) are presented in this theoretical analysis as the foundation for assessment of the animal in HAI for human-health interventions. Rationale for the legitimacy of the dog (animal) as a subjective participant and potential methods of objective measurement for the dog as a participant in AAT and HAI are discussed.

Publication Title Society & Animals
Volume 24
Issue 2
Pages 172-185
ISBN/ISSN 1063-1119
DOI 10.1163/15685306-12341399
Language English
Author Address Division of Orthopedic Surgery, Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Kansas, USA.cvitztum@cmh.edu
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Tags
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animals
  3. Behavioral research
  4. Canidae
  5. Canine
  6. Carnivores
  7. Cognition
  8. Dogs
  9. Emotions
  10. Health
  11. Health care
  12. Humans
  13. Mammals
  14. Men
  15. Pets and companion animals
  16. Primates
  17. Psychiatry and psychology
  18. Relationships
  19. services
  20. Social psychology and social anthropology
  21. therapy
  22. vertebrates
  23. Zoology