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Article

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
Animals 2019, 9(9), 674; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9090674
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.
Compatibility in activity preferences refers to the shared enjoyment of daily activities, such as walking and interacting with others, and it is an indicator of the behavioral dimension of compatibility, which mainly refers to exercise and play. It has been found that individuals who are more compatible with their dogs have a better relationship with them, which can explain some of the benefits of human-dog interaction. However, research to explain how and why human-animal relationships are potentially therapeutic is still needed. The objective of this quantitative study was to compare the benefits of human-dog interaction for both humans and dogs between people who were and were not compatible with their dogs. Ninety people with scores of 50% or less on the compatibility index and 110 people with 100% compatibility participated in the study. The groups were compared using the Mann-Whitney U test. The people in the group with greater compatibility reported more subjective happiness and less perceived stress, a stable dog-feeding routine, and more frequent daily walks and playing sessions; additionally, for their dogs, they reported a lower frequency of aggressive and fearful behaviors and higher trainability scores. In conclusion, compatibility in activity preferences helps explain the benefits of human–animal interaction. View Full-Text
Keywords: human-animal interaction; compatibility; pet effect; stress; happiness; C-BARQ; dog behavior human-animal interaction; compatibility; pet effect; stress; happiness; C-BARQ; dog behavior
MDPI and ACS Style

González-Ramírez, M.T. Compatibility between Humans and Their Dogs: Benefits for Both. Animals 2019, 9, 674. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9090674

AMA Style

González-Ramírez MT. Compatibility between Humans and Their Dogs: Benefits for Both. Animals. 2019; 9(9):674. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9090674

Chicago/Turabian Style

González-Ramírez, Mónica T. 2019. "Compatibility between Humans and Their Dogs: Benefits for Both" Animals 9, no. 9: 674. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9090674

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