Vol. 6 No. 3 (2020)
Review Articles

A mini review on the dog-owner attachment bond and its implications in veterinary clinical ethology

Giacomo Riggio
Department of Veterinary Science University of Pisa

Published 2021-02-21


  • dog,
  • attachment


The dog-owner relationship seems to share several features with the child-mother attachment bond. In this review, we will first briefly explain the attachment theory in the context of the child-caregiver relationship in order to provide a background to the dog-owner attachment bond research. Then, we will retrace the steps that led to the current view of the dog-owner relationship as an attachment bond, with a specific focus on those studies that investigated the dog’s attachment behaviour towards the owner. We will briefly examine the implications of this theory in the field of veterinary clinical ethology and finally discuss its critical points and future directions.