Identification of dysfunctional human–dog dyads through dog ownership histories

Rute Canejo-Teixeira, Isabel Neto, Luís V. Baptista, Maria Manuela Rodeia Espada Niza

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3 Citations (Scopus)
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The human–dog relationship is at least 16,000-years old and is mutually beneficial to both dyadic members. When the human–dog relationship becomes dysfunctional, however, there can be serious consequences for both parties and for society. Unfortunately, dysfunctional dyads are normally only identified after consequences have been felt (e.g., dog–human aggression) limiting the action that can be taken to prevent such occurrences. To evaluate whether these dysfunctional dyads can be preemptively identified, a questionnaire analyzing the owners’ dog health care histories was administered to an urban dog owning population. Multiple correspondence analysis (n = 1,385) was conducted and identified three clusters accounting for 37.1% of the total variance, while four moderate positive correlations were found: “unspecified trauma” with “vehicular trauma” (r = 0.303, p < 0.001), “bitten” with “bit other animal” (r = 0.345, p < 0.001), “bit a person” with “bit other animal” (r = 0.369, p < 0.001), and “chronic illness” with “hospitalized” (r = 0.297, p < 0.001). These results suggest that a simple questionnaire can identify potential characteristics of functional and dysfunctional dyads. In functional dyads, humans tend to be responsible for their dogs’ well-being, while dysfunctional dyads show the opposite characteristics, reporting experience with trauma and dog aggression.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-146
Number of pages7
JournalOpen Veterinary Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Dysfunctional dyads
  • Human-dog bond
  • MCA
  • Ownership characteristics
  • Questionnaire


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