Attachment and Sociability in Therapy Dogs Public

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/honors_college_theses/pc289m001

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  • Adaptations of the Ainsworth’s Strange Situation test, a social-development test based on Bowlby’s attachment theory, can be applied to dog-owner relationships and used to categorize attachment styles in dogs. Dogs with secure attachment use their owner as a secure base from which to explore their environment and should theoretically be more likely to socialize with unfamiliar individuals. While pet dogs often interact with unfamiliar people, therapy dogs are specifically required to interact with unfamiliar therapy participants. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether therapy dogs with a secure attachment to their owners/handlers, and those with insecure attachment, behave differently in animal-assisted therapy. Therapy dog-owner dyads participated in an initial test from which attachment style was categorized. Later the dyads participated in a mock animal-assisted therapy session. Our findings indicate that in general therapy dogs spend a greater proportion of time in proximity to, and touching, the therapy participant than their owner during a therapy session; although they gaze more frequently at their owners. Attachment style did not reliably predict time spent in proximity to, and contact with, the therapy participant, however there was a noteworthy difference in the gazing behavior of dogs with different attachment styles.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2015-06-03T17:55:52Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 2license_rdf: 1232 bytes, checksum: bb87e2fb4674c76d0d2e9ed07fbb9c86 (MD5)WanserShelbyH2016.pdf: 704834 bytes, checksum: cf3308ea9716122986eeb033bb1fe8dd (MD5)
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  • description.provenance : Submitted by Shelby Wanser (wansers@onid.orst.edu) on 2015-06-03T17:25:32ZNo. of bitstreams: 2license_rdf: 1232 bytes, checksum: bb87e2fb4674c76d0d2e9ed07fbb9c86 (MD5)WanserShelbyH2016.pdf: 704834 bytes, checksum: cf3308ea9716122986eeb033bb1fe8dd (MD5)

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