Companion Animal Ethology and Human-Animal Relationships

Theories of communication, social support and attachment are applied to help explain the interactional behaviour between humans and their companion animals and the therapeutic effects of such relationships on humans. Methods of classical ethology are combined with those of other disciplines such as psychology to better understand such relationships.

Former Head of group: PD Dr. Dennis C. Turner

Research themes:

  • Differences in attitudes and behaviour of people toward animals in different cultures (many countries representing all major religions) in situ and amongst expatriates
  • Perception understanding in dogs and wolves
  • Dominance relations between domestic dogs in the same household and between dogs and their owners
  • The efficacy of animal-assisted interventions to benefit brain-damaged and other children
  • An analysis of the efficacy of programs to train dog owners (SKN)