Open Veterinary Journal

Open Veterinary Journal

Peer-Reviewed Journal 
ISSN 2218-6050 (Online), ISSN 2226-4485 (Print) 

"Original Research"

Identification of dysfunctional human-dog dyads through dog ownership histories

Rute Canejo-Teixeira(1,*), Isabel Neto(1), Luís V. Baptista(2) and Maria Manuela Rodeia Espada Niza(1)

1- CIISA, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária/Ulisboa, Portugal

2- Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal


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=1385) 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.

Keywords: Dysfunctional dyads, Human-dog bond, MCA, Ownership characteristics, Questionnaire.

Cite this paper:

Canejo-Teixeira1, R., Neto, I., Baptista, L.V. and Niza, M.M.R.E. 2019. Identification of dysfunctional human-dog dyads through dog ownership histories. Open Vet. J. 9(2), 140-146.