Current Study

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.

Past Studies

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 (l.lyckberg@gmail.com) for updates on the results of the current study or future studies.


8 thoughts on “About

  1. Thanks! This was fascinating. Some questions were very interesting, and I could agree or disagree – no big deal. Then again, some of them caused me to think …whoa, some people have…issues… ๐Ÿ™‚ My daughter will be attending Edinburgh to study music this fall. So it was interesting when a friend sent me this survey.

    1. Hi! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! All the results will be posted on this page in the fall, so stay tuned for updates. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m sure your daughter will love Edinburgh! It’s a really beautiful city!

  2. Is this confined to the UK only or are you interested in participants from other countries?

  3. Very interesting survey. I truly believe that I would not be here if it wasn’t for my dog. I suffer from Depression and Anxiety. My dog has been my guide through life. He makes each day bearable. I love him more than words can say. We have a very special bond. X

    1. Thank you for sharing your story here! You seem to have a beautiful connection with your dog! I really believe that our special bond to dogs can help us overcome many physical and psychological challenges. The way they are able to know and support us is really truly amazing.

  4. I really enjoyed doing this and it made me think. The only questionable part is about “love” from her to me. I know I love her absolutely and in everyday life as a vet care assitant I use the word to describe dogs’ feelings for us but not sure if it’s the right word – whether or not ‘attachment’ or ‘bonded’ is better but maybe as a psych graduate and ex psych lecturer I’m being pedantic!

    1. Hi Ann! Thank you for your feedback! I agree with you, and scientifically speaking, it is very difficult to confirm that dogs have any other emotions than the dimensions of valence, arousal and tension. This survey is designed to measure the human’s experience of their bond, and includes terms people often use when discussing their dogs. The dog’s attachment to the owner is much better tested by observing the dog’s behaviour, and letting the dog speak for him/herself so to say.

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