Compatibility between Humans and Their Dogs: Benefits for Both
School of Psychology, Facultad de Psicología, Autonomous University of Nuevo León, Nuevo León C.P. 64455, Mexico
Received: 19 July 2019 / Revised: 27 August 2019 / Accepted: 7 September 2019 / Published: 12 September 2019
Human-animal interaction and its benefits have been a topic of interest in recent decades, but how this interaction can benefit both species remains unclear. In the case of companion animals, the focus of many studies is on human-dog interaction. When they live together, humans and dogs share activities, and when they share an enjoyment of daily activities such as walking and interacting with others, they are considered compatible in their activity preferences. Individuals who are more compatible with their dogs also report having a better relationship with them, which could explain some of the benefits of human-dog interaction. In this study, ninety people with low compatibility in activity preferences were compared to 110 people who were compatible with their dogs. The findings show that the people who were more compatible with their dogs reported higher happiness levels and lower stress scores, a stable dog-feeding routine, and more frequent daily walks and playing sessions, in addition to a lower frequency of aggressive and fearful behaviors and higher trainability scores in their dogs. In conclusion, compatibility in activity preferences helps explain the benefits of the human-animal interaction.