The characteristics of the human-animal bond may be influenced by both owner-related and dog-related factors. A study was designed to explore the existence of different dog ownership patterns and their related factors. We created an on line questionnaire that included demographic questions about the dog and the owner, a Spanish version of the Monash Dog Owner Relationship Scale (MDORS) and a validated measure of satisfaction with life (Cantril’s ladder). We collected 1140 valid responses from adult dog owners, who were recruited using the client databases of Spanish veterinary practices. We explored the presence of groups within the population using Principal Components Analysis (PCA) of the MDORS variables combined with Hierarchical Cluster Analysis (HCA). Two groups were found; Group I having a higher level of emotional involvement with their dogs compared with Group II. Binary logistic regression was used to explore demographic factors that influenced group membership. Four variables were significantly associated with membership of Group I (p<0.0001); male gender of the owner (OR = 32.36), high school level of maximum educational attainment (OR = 0.052), university level of maximum educational attainment (OR = 8.652), and owner Cantril’s score (OR = 0.807). The results obtained from this convenience sample demonstrate that different patterns of dog-ownership may be present within a population of owner-dog dyads, and that certain owner characteristics are associated with the type of owner-dog relationship. Future research could apply a similar approach to different types of sample population in order to identify specific patterns of dog-ownership.
|Publication Title||PLoS ONE|
|Author Address||Centre for Applied Bioethics, School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham.|
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