Society and Animals:1-18 (forthcoming)

Authors
Amelia Lewis
Queens University Belfast
Abstract
Attachment theory, proposed in the 1950s to understand the development of parent-child relationships, is often applied to human–companion animal relationships. I argue the application of this paradigm to test nonhuman animals’ social bonds with humans infantilizes mature animals and has a detrimental impact on animal welfare. The premise is that Ainsworth’s Strange Situation Test is inappropriate to investigate the emotional ties between domestic animals and humans. Instead, I propose an alternative theory, that dogs form mature social bonds with their guardians, and that the phenomenon known as separation anxiety is the result either of the frustration of mature adult group behaviors, or an overdependency fostered by the guardian. Rather than view mature dogs as comparable to human infants in their social relationships, we should perceive them as socially and emotionally mature at adulthood and shift the focus from attachment-based paradigms to the behavioral ecology and cognition of companion animals.
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DOI 10.1163/15685306-bja10011
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References found in this work BETA

Human-Like Social Skills in Dogs?Brian Hare & Michael Tomasello - 2005 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 9 (9):439-444.
The Ecology of Collaborative Child Rearing: A Systems Approach to Child Care on the Kibbutz.Sharone L. Maital & Marc H. Bornstein - 2003 - Ethos: Journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology 31 (2):274-306.
The Ecology of Collaborative Child Rearing: A Systems Approach to Child Care on the Kibbutz.Sharone L. Maital & Marc H. Bornstein - 2003 - Ethos: Journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology 31 (2):274-306.

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