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The effect of the owner’s personality on the behaviour of owner-dog dyads

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We describe the relationships between dog owners’ personality attributes (assessed via questionnaire), their behaviours and the dog’s behaviours observed during brief dog-owner and dog-stranger interactions (N = 78). Interactions comprised the owner commanding the dog to sit, and the stranger showing a ball to the restrained dog and then hiding it. Owners scoring higher on neuroticism and openness used more commands (gestural and verbal) when asking the dog to sit, and the dogs of owners higher on neuroticism obeyed with a longer latency and spent more time looking at the stranger. More extraverted owners praised their dog more, and it took longer for their dogs to look at the stranger but they spent more time looking at the stranger, whereas dogs of more agreeable owners spent more time looking at the ball. Based on these results we conclude that some aspects of owners’ personality appear to be tied to their dog’s attentional concerns. Keywords: dog-human interaction; personality; multivariate statistical methods
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2012

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  • Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systems
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