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Raising canine: cross-species parallels in parental investment

By Eric T. Steiner, N. Clayton Silver, Pam Hall, Chantal Downing, Dominic Hurton, Peter B. Gray

Category Journal Articles

Parental investment tends to vary as a function of parental status, i.e., biological/adoptive parents tend to invest more in their children than stepparents. Given the similarities in some of the ways humans interact with children versus pet dogs, the current study investigated whether dog keepers' "parental" status predicts parental response toward their dogs. More specifically, differences in parental response were examined in 863 participants who were grouped as follows: 701 who chose to acquire a dog (i.e., "adoptive" dog keepers), 89 whose dog was acquired by a relative such as a parent or sibling (i.e., "relative" dog keepers), and 73 whose dog was acquired by a significant other (i.e., "stepparent" dog keepers). Pen-and-paper and online surveys were administered to measure four dimensions of parental response: attachment, investment, abuse, and anthropomorphism with respect to individuals' pet dogs. In addition, attitudes towards dogs in general were assessed. Results indicated that adoptive dog keepers exhibit significantly greater attachment and investment in their dogs than stepparent dog keepers. No differences in abuse or anthropomorphism appeared among groups. The findings have implications for the welfare of dogs and further our understanding of human-dog interactions by highlighting a similarity between parental investment in children versus dogs.

Date 2013
Publication Title Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin
Volume 1
Issue 1
Pages 38-54
URL https://www.apa-hai.org/haib/download-info/raising-canine-cross-species-parallels-in-parental-investment/
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Adoption
  2. Animal rights
  3. Animals
  4. Animal welfare
  5. APEC countries
  6. Attachment
  7. Attitudes
  8. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  9. Canidae
  10. Carnivores
  11. Developed countries
  12. Dogs
  13. Family
  14. Human behavior
  15. Humans
  16. Mammals
  17. Men
  18. Nevada
  19. North America
  20. OECD countries
  21. open access
  22. parents
  23. peer-reviewed
  24. pet care
  25. Pets and companion animals
  26. Primates
  27. Relationships
  28. Social psychology and social anthropology
  29. surveys
  30. United States of America
  31. vertebrates
  1. open access
  2. peer-reviewed