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Study examines dog-owner links

Tuesday June 10th 2014

An animal behaviour expert has claimed that dogs who misbehave in public probably have a better relationship with their owner than perfectly-behaved pooches.

Researchers from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, found that the more dogs display attention-seeking behaviour, the more likely it is that their owners will love them.

Sixty families with dogs took part in the study, which saw participants fill out questionnaires about their attachment to their pets, with details such as feeding, walking and how responsible they feel towards them.

Owners were also asked to rate their dogs on qualities such as attention-seeking behaviour, aggression, excitability, separation problems, fear of strangers and trainability.

Christy Hoffman, assistant professor of animal behaviour, said that owners who take more responsibility for their dogs tend to be more emotionally attached than people who take a more hands-off approach.

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Copyright Press Association 2014