The Animal Ownership Interaction Study involves volunteer dog-owner participants and their canines of both pure and mixed breeds. A primary study objective is to follow adopted shelter dogs throughout their lives to gain further insight into the human-canine bond to help reduce relinquishment and return that can often lead to destruction of the dog. From the results of this study, investigators expect to be able to help owners understand the influence they are having on their pet’s behavior and to be able to modify their interactions with their dog in a positive way.

In order to elucidate the positive and negative aspects of owners’ interaction with their dogs, investigators Nicholas Dodman and James Serpell propose the largest owner-dog personality-behavior study ever conducted with a view to establishing once and for all how owner personality and psychological status affects a pet’s behavior. From the results of this study, Dodman and Serpell expect to be able to help owners understand the influence they are having on their pet’s behavior and to be able to modify interactions with their dogs in a positive way.

The study will also help predict which owner personality types are most compatible with a particular dog that they plan to adopt, thereby helping ensure a harmonious pairing, owner satisfaction, and the adopted dog thus having a home for life.