Companion animal attachment and guardian behaviors a survey of South African dog guardians

01 Dec 2016

Dogs are part of 29% of all South African households. Unfortunately, very little is known about the relationship between South African dog guardians and their canine companions. This study focuses on this relationship, with a specific focus on South African dog guardians’ attachment to their canine companions and the guardians’ resultant dog care behaviors. Two hundred self-completion questionnaires were distributed to adult dog guardians. The findings indicated that different care behaviors (essential, standard, enriched, and luxury) are positively related to companion animal attachment. These results suggest that dog guardians will provide basic types of care regardless of their levels of attachment to their canine companions. However, dog guardians with higher levels of attachment are more likely to provide their dogs with forms of enriched and luxury care.