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Engström, Malin, 2018. Påverkan av mänsklig omvårdnadsstil på hundars reaktion vid en plötslig ljudöverraskning. First cycle, G2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)



The bond between an owner and its dog have remarkable similarities with the one between a child and a parent. The attachment between a child and its parent is considered as a fundamental constitution that is based upon that a child needs a safe haven for support and comfort and a secure base to explore the world, even in new and strange situations. Different caregiving -styles in the parent provide different attachment styles for the child. A secure attachment can be seen in children who have a parent that is sensitive for the child’s needs and makes an effort trying to provide for them properly. There are indications that the same types of attachment styles are to be seen between owners and their dogs. It is a possibility that the owners´ caregiving -style affect the dogs´ attachment style and thereby the dogs´ reaction to stressful situations.
In the ”Strange Situations Procedure” (SSP), developed by Mary Ainsworth, the attachment between a child and parent can be assessed and categorised into four different styles; secure, insecure avoidant, insecure ambivalent and unpredictable/disorganized. Lately this procedure has been modified and used for studies trying to observe the same types of attachment between an owner and its dog.
In this study it was tested if two different caregiving -styles, the secure and the unpredictable/disorganized, affected the dogs to show different responses in a situation with a sudden noise stressor. The results did not show any difference in heart rate changes which could have been a physiological indicator for stress in the dogs. Some differences could be seen in the behaviour of dogs in presence of the different handlers. During the noise stressor the dogs were more focused on the noise in presence of the secure handler. This could be seen as they were trying to find out the source of the noise. After the noise had stopped the dogs showed more behaviours of exploration, as sniffing and manipulating in the environment, and kept themselves closer to the unpredictable handler. Possibly because they felt more distressed in the situation since the handlers´ behaviour indicated vigilance. The results suggested that the secure handler promoted the dogs to more calm behaviours since the dogs showed more signs of distress, as restlessness and lip-licking, in the presence of the unpredictable handler in general. The differences were not completely according to the ones that has been seen between a child and a parent with secure and unpredictable attachment respectively and thereby do not support the theory that they show the same kind of attachment. It is necessary to further study the possibility that human caregiving -style can affect attachment -style and coping strategies in dogs to help them better handle stressful situations. That could promote better welfare for the dogs and a better human-dog relationship.

Main title:Påverkan av mänsklig omvårdnadsstil på hundars reaktion vid en plötslig ljudöverraskning
Authors:Engström, Malin
Supervisor:Rehn, Therese
Examiner:Lidfors, Lena
Series:Studentarbete / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för husdjurens miljö och hälsa
Volume/Sequential designation:750
Year of Publication:2018
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:VK002 Ethology and Animal Welfare - Bachelor's Programme 180 HEC
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)
Keywords:hund, etologi, hund välfärd, ljudrädsla, anknytningsteori, människa-hund relation
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Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Animal husbandry
Animal ecology
Deposited On:27 Sep 2018 12:53
Metadata Last Modified:25 Feb 2019 13:37

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