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The canine cuteness effect: owner-perceived cuteness as a predictor of human-dog relationship quality

By P. Thorn, T. J. Howell, C. Brown, P. C. Bennett

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Abstract

The modern domestic dog's primary function is as a human companion. A strong human-dog relationship may be beneficial to both parties but not all relationships are successful. There is currently no consensus on why some dog-owner relationships flourish and others fail, but relationship quality may be partly influenced by canine characteristics. The extent to which canine cuteness and canine personality factors predict human-dog relationship quality was examined. In study 1, 668 dog owners completed two relationship-quality surveys, rated their dog's personality and physical cuteness, and were invited to submit a photograph of their dog. Personality measures and cuteness ratings predicted each measure of relationship quality, with cuteness being the strongest unique predictor in three of seven standard multiple regression models (all p

Publication Title Anthrozoos
Volume 28
Issue 4
Pages 569-585
ISBN/ISSN 0892-7936
DOI 10.1080/08927936.2015.1069992
Language English
Author Address School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University, Bendigo, Victoria 3552, Australia.Pauleen.Bennett@latrobe.edu.au
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Tags
  1. Animals
  2. Anthrozoology
  3. Canidae
  4. Canine
  5. Carnivores
  6. Dogs
  7. Mammals
  8. models
  9. peer-reviewed
  10. Personality
  11. predictions
  12. surveys
  13. training
  14. traits
  15. vertebrates
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed