Relational factors affecting dog social attraction to human partners
We previously showed (Kotrschal et al., 2009) that owner personality and human–dog relationship predicted the performance of a human–dog dyad in a practical task. Based on the same data set we presently investigate the effects of individual and social factors on the social attraction of dogs to their owners. Twenty-two male and female owners and their intact male dogs were observed during a “picture viewing” test, where we diverted the owner’s attention away from their dog whilst it was permitted to move freely around the room. Owner personality axis “neuroticism” and dog personality axis “vocal and aggressive” were, respectively, positively and negatively related to the time the dog stayed in proximity to the owner. Quality of relationship and attachment also had significant effects on this proximity. We conclude that personality and the nature of the human–dog relationship may all influence dogs’ social attraction to their owners. Keywords: companion animals; dog–human attachment; dyadic relationships; human-animal interactions; human–dog attachment; human–dog relationship; human–dog social interactions; personality; pets
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 17 November 2010
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- Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systems