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Titre du Document
Gender differences in owners interacting with pet dogs : An observational study
Auteur(s)
PRATO-PREVIDE Emanuela ; FALLANI Gaia ; VALSECCHI Paola
Résumé
Many studies show that people form strong affectional bonds with their dogs, treating them like family members or children. The present study investigates differences between women and men owners during interactions with their dogs, in a situation designed to investigate attachment and, thus, to promote emotional and affective responses: the Ains-worth's Strange Situation. Twenty-five dog owners, 10 men and 15 women, were observed during free interactions with their pets in an adapted version of the 'strange situation procedure'. Their behaviour towards their pets was videorecorded. Talking to the dog was evaluated together with the occurrence of affiliative and play behaviours. The owner's level of attachment to the dog was assessed using a questionnaire. Women and men differed in the use of verbal communication. Women talked more than men and had a shorter latency in starting talking. Their utterances resembled more closely infant-directed speech or 'motherese'. In contrast, there were no clear gender differences in affiliative and play behaviours. Both women and men engaged in play with their dogs and provided physical comfort. No differences emerged in the level of attachment reported by women and men owners in the questionnaire. These data support the hypothesis that the behaviour of modern pet owners towards their dogs is an interspecific parental behaviour, and suggest that behaviours evolved to provide care and comfort to human infants have been co-opted for interacti
Editeur
Blackwell
Identifiant
ISSN : 0179-1613
Source
Ethology A. 2006, vol. 112, n° 1, pp. 64-73 [10 pages] [bibl. : 1 p.1/2]
Langue
Anglais
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