Better to have loved and lost? Human avoidant attachment style towards dogs predicts group membership as ‘forever owner’ or ‘foster carer’

Lockyer, Jannine M., and Oliva, Jessica (2020) Better to have loved and lost? Human avoidant attachment style towards dogs predicts group membership as ‘forever owner’ or ‘foster carer’. Animals, 10. 1679.

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Abstract

Important physiological, performance, and relationship differences have been reported between companion and working dogs. This study aimed to investigate how human attachment styles manifest towards dogs, depending on the dog’s role. Seeing Eye Dog (SED) carer (n = 25) and Companion Dog Owner (CDO) (n = 78) avoidant and anxious attachment scores towards the dog in their care were compared. Feelings and motivations about being a SED carer or CDO were also investigated qualitatively. Significant differences were observed between pet avoidance, with avoidance scores significantly predicting SED carer group membership. Qualitative insights revealed more human prosocial motivations for becoming a SED carer, and more dog-related motivations for becoming a CDO, with CDOs more likely to consider their dog a ‘significant other’. This study corroborates findings supporting differences in human–dog relationships for working versus companion dogs. The potential impacts of human–dog attachment should be considered for SED success

Item ID: 65918
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2076-2615
Keywords: attachment; assistance; dog; puppy; SED
Copyright Information: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CCBY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2021 04:11
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5299 Other psychology > 529999 Other psychology not elsewhere classified @ 50%
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5204 Cognitive and computational psychology > 520403 Learning, motivation and emotion @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences @ 100%
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