Relational factors affecting dog social attraction to human partners

Interaction Studies 11 (3):482-503 (2011)
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
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DOI 10.1075/is.11.3.09wed
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