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Olsson, Malin, 2018. Påverkan av två olika omvårdnadsstilar vid separation-och återförening hos hund. First cycle, G2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)



A child’s attachment style and a caregiver’s caregiving style influences and matches each other. Attachment behaviours’ main goal is to seek proximity and security from the caregiver. Attachment styles are often observed in an attachment test, where the attachments system is activated by a strange or challenging situation, for example separation. From this test four different attachment styles have been characterised. It has been suggested that a human’s caregiving style influences a dog’s behaviour. In this study the behaviour of twelve dogs was observed and heart rate was measured during separation from and reunion with two handlers with different caregiving styles (secure and disorganised). The handlers interacted with the dogs according to their caregiving style during 15 interaction days. Observations of behaviour and heart rate were made at interaction day 1, 7 and 15 in order to investigate change in the dog’s response over time.

Results showed that when reunited with the secure handler both the dog and handler initiated more contact over time. This might be due to the dog and the secure handler synchronising their behaviour, as the relationship developed. No difference in heart rate or behaviours during separation could be found. The dogs tended to look more at and spend more time close to the disorganised handler. However, if the dog did it on its own free will or forced to do it by the actions of the handler is hard to say. It can also be a sign of vigilance behavior toward the disorganised handler. During reunion on day one with the secure handler, the dogs explored more. This cannot be explained by an attachment style, but rather the handler’s behavior where the secure handler allowed the dogs to explore more. The dogs explored more on day one, perhaps because the environment was new and they felt a bigger need to explore. The dogs sat down more with the disorganised handler, which might be a sign of passive stress coping. The dogs jumped more during reunion with the secure handler. When the dog stood with its front paws on the handler it counted as jumping. This was tolerated more by the secure handler, which might have influenced the results. In reunion with the insecure handler the dogs showed more lip licking and had their tail behind their legs more. This might be due to stress and fear, but lip licking can also be a sign of excitement in general and is not necessarily negative. This study can be used to work for more stable relationships between dog and human. Where the dog is not stressed and the owner has a positive and soothing effect on the dog. The behaviour of the dogs in this study was influenced by the handler’s behaviour. I therefore suggest that future studies in this field include observations of both the dogs and the handler’s behaviour.

Main title:Påverkan av två olika omvårdnadsstilar vid separation-och återförening hos hund
Authors:Olsson, Malin
Supervisor:Rehn, Therese
Examiner:Lidfors, Lena
Series:Studentarbete / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för husdjurens miljö och hälsa
Volume/Sequential designation:754
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:anknytning, omvårdnad, separation, återförening, människa-hund relation
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Animal husbandry
Animal ecology
Deposited On:23 Oct 2018 08:19
Metadata Last Modified:25 Feb 2019 13:37

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