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Do dog behavioral characteristics predict the quality of the relationship between dogs and their owners?

By Christy L. Hoffman, Pan Chen, James A. Serpell, Kristen C. Jacobson

Category Journal Articles
Abstract

This paper explores whether dog behavioral characteristics predict the quality of the relationship between dogs and their owners (i.e., owner attachment to dog), and whether relations between dog behavior and owner attachment are moderated by demographic characteristics. In this study, N = 92 children and N = 60 adults from 60 dog-owning families completed questionnaires about their attachment to their pet dog, their level of responsibility for that dog, and their general attitudes toward pets. They also rated their dogs on observable behavioral characteristics. Individuals who held positive attitudes about pets and who provided much of their dog's care reported stronger attachments to their dogs. The strength of owners' attachments to their dogs was associated with dog trainability and separation problems. Relationships between owner attachment and both dog excitability and attention-seeking behavior were further moderated by demographic characteristics: for Caucasians but not for non-Caucasians, dog excitability was negatively associated with owner attachment to dog; and for adults, dog attention-seeking behavior was positively associated with owner attachment, but children tended to be highly attached to their dogs, regardless of their dogs' attention-seeking behaviors. This study demonstrates that certain dog behavioral traits are indeed associated with the strength of owners' attachments to their dogs.

Date 2013
Publication Title Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin
Volume 1
Issue 1
Pages 20-37
URL https://www.apa-hai.org/human-animal-interaction/haib/download-info/do-dog-behavioral-characteristics-predict-the-quality-of-the-relationship-between-dogs-and-their-owners-2/
Language English
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animals
  3. Attachment
  4. Attitudes
  5. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  6. Canidae
  7. Canine
  8. Carnivores
  9. C-BARQ
  10. Dogs
  11. Human behavior
  12. Humans
  13. Mammals
  14. Men
  15. open access
  16. peer-reviewed
  17. Pets and companion animals
  18. Primates
  19. Social psychology and social anthropology
  20. vertebrates
Badges
  1. open access
  2. peer-reviewed