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Development of the dog attachment insecurity screening inventory (D-AISI): a pilot study on a sample of female owners

By G. Riggio, M. Noom, A. Gazzano, C. Mariti

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To date, the Strange Situation Procedure is the only tool available to investigate the quality of the dog's attachment bond towards the owner. This study aimed to adapt a parent-report scale, named the Attachment Insecurity Screening Inventory (AISI) 6-12, originally designed to assess 6- to 12-year-old children's attachment insecurity, to dog-owner dyads and assess measures of consistency and validity. The online questionnaire was completed by 524 female dog owners. Principal component analysis (PCA) revealed five components named, respectively, "physical contact", "control", "separation anxiety", "owner as emotional support", and "owner as a source of positive emotion". Because of the three-factor structure of the original AISI, a PCA with a pre-fixed set of three factors was also performed. The resulting subscales mirrored the ones found for the original scale (i.e., ambivalent, avoidant, and disorganized), although four items did not fit the model. Internal reliability appeared to be satisfying for the ambivalent and the disorganized subscales, and good for the avoidant subscale. The theoretical background and the results of this study suggest that the three-dimensional model represents a better solution for the interpretation of the Dog Attachment Insecurity Screening Inventory (D-AISI). Although promising, this scale requires refinement and assessment of additional validity measures.

Publication Title Animals
Volume 11
Issue 12
ISBN/ISSN 2076-2615
DOI 10.3390/ani11123381
Author Address Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Pisa, 56124 Pisa,
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Abnormal behavior
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animals
  4. Anthrozoology
  5. Anxiety
  6. Attachment behavior
  7. Behavioral research
  8. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  9. Canidae
  10. Canine
  11. Carnivores
  12. Dogs
  13. Emotions
  14. Humans
  15. Mammals
  16. Men
  17. Non-communicable diseases and injuries
  18. open access
  19. Ownership
  20. pathology
  21. Pets and companion animals
  22. Primates
  23. Psychiatry and psychology
  24. Quality of life
  25. Social psychology and social anthropology
  26. vertebrates
  27. Women
  28. Zoology
  1. open access