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Owner-companion dog interactions: relationships between demographic variables, potentially problematic behaviours, training engagement and shared activities

By Pauleen Charmayne Bennett, Vanessa Ilse Rohlf

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Abstract

Many companion dogs occupy a privileged position in our society, living closely with human caretakers who go to great lengths to provide for their needs and desires. Others fare less well, being abandoned or killed, many because they are believed to exhibit behaviour problems. The aim in this study was to investigate the frequency of potentially problematic behaviours experienced by a convenience sample of companion dog owners and to establish if the presence of these behaviours was associated with demographic variables, involvement in dog training activities and participation in other dog-human interactions. Potentially problematic behaviours were reported to occur by the 413 adult participants only infrequently, but fell into five factors; disobedience, unfriendliness/aggression, nervousness, anxiety/destructiveness and excitability. Each of these factors was associated with a number of owner and dog characteristics. Engagement in training activities was predictive of lower scores being obtained for many of the behaviours, as well as increased involvement in shared activities. Some of the behaviours, particularly the perceived friendliness of the dog, were also predictive of involvement in shared activities. This confirms that strategies designed to increase participation in dog training activities and promote canine sociability may have significant benefits for both companion dog owners and their dogs.

Submitter

Megan Kendall

Purdue University

Date 2007
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 102
Issue 1/2
Pages 65-84
Publisher Elsevier
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2006.03.009
URL http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168159106000736
Language English
Notes This article added with permission from Elsevier
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Animal roles
  2. Animal welfare
  3. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  4. Dogs
  5. Human-animal bond
  6. Human-animal relationships
  7. Mammals
  8. Pet ownership
  9. Pets and companion animals
  10. Physical environment
  11. Social Environments
  12. training