Research & Policy Think Tank

It’s Not Who Your Dog Is, It’s Who You Are To Your Dog

A new study gives us one more glimpse into the power of the bond between people and dogs.

In this study, dogs slept in an unfamiliar laboratory setting with their owners beside them. The quality of their sleep was recorded through electrodes. The dog’s attachment to their owner was measured using an instrument called the Ainsworth strange situation test. This scored the dog/owner bond, the degree to which the owner serves as a “secure base” and as a “safe haven” for the dog.

The study showed that dogs with a higher attachment score to their owner slept more peacefully.

This research is one more example of how similar these bonds seem to be to those between infants and toddlers and their mothers.  

The full study can be found here: Carreiro, C., Reicher, V., Kis, A. and Gácsi, M., 2022. Attachment towards the Owner Is Associated with Spontaneous Sleep EEG Parameters in Family Dogs.

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