Young Adults’ Attachment To Companion Dogs
This examination of the likelihood of young adults to turn to companion dogs as attachment figures compared with human attachment figures showed variance dependent upon the human relationship (i.e. mother or sister versus father or brother) and degree of involvement in the care of their dogs.
Turning to another being in times of emotional distress (safe haven) is a key feature of an attachment bond. This study examined companion dogs as safe havens among college students. Research results showed that participants were more likely to turn to companion dogs than to fathers or brothers, but less likely to turn to companion dogs than mothers, friends, and romantic partners in times of stress. The differences between companion dogs and humans as sources of safe haven were the smallest where the participants had high levels of involvement in the care of their dog.