This project will examine how dog and owner personality and interactions are associated to mutual dog-owner attachment. Primarily, we want to look at what combinations of dog and owner personality traits result in mutual human-dog attachment, and which might increase the risk for dog behavioural problems.
A personality match-making model could be used by dog breeders and animal shelters to find people suitable dogs, and hopefully prevent relinquishment and return of dogs to shelters. If different interactions with dogs can influence the relationship between the owner and the dog, training programs could be put into place to increase the bond between humans and their dogs, affecting the well being of both partners, and hopefully, decreasing relinquishment of dogs to shelters.
Our previous pilot-study aimed to explore whether there are differences in personality and Emotional Intelligence (EI) between different groups of dog trainers and dog owners, and whether different types of activities influence the relationship satisfaction of dog owners. Additionally, the results of the study was used to help construct a new measurement of the Human-Dog Bond.
The differences in the EI of different kinds of dog trainers may give us clues to what activities with dogs may help people improve their emotional interactions with both dogs and people, and enhance their psychological well being. In our online survey, dog trainers who focused on behaviour modification had significantly higher EI than those dog trainers who focused on competitive training.
The new scale for the Human-Dog Bond will be used to explore the effect of human and dog personality on mutual relationship satisfaction and attachment. This will enable a match-making profile for dogs and humans to be designed, which may assist people to buy or adopt a dog which is suitable to their character, and thus decreasing relinquishment of dogs to shelters, as well as decreasing the return of adopted dogs to shelters.
Please contact Linnea Lyckberg (firstname.lastname@example.org) for updates on the results of the current study or future studies.