Function predicts how people treat their dogs in a global sample

Nature Scientific Reports Vol/Iss. 13 Nature Published In Pages: 1-11
By Chira, Angela M., Kirby, Kathryn R. , Epperlein, Theresa, Bräuer, Juliane


The article discusses how our understanding of dog-human bonds, dog behavior, and dog cognition is limited to Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic (WEIRD) societies, and the question of whether associations between dogs and humans are representative worldwide. The study collected data on the function and perception of dogs in 124 globally distributed societies using the eHRAF cross-cultural database. The results showed that keeping dogs for multiple purposes and/or employing dogs for highly cooperative or high investment functions is associated with closer dog-human bonds, increased primary caregiving, decreased negative treatment, and attributing personhood to dogs. The study challenges the notion that all dogs are the same and opens questions about how function and associated cultural correlates could fuel departures from the ‘typical’ behavior and social-cognitive skills we commonly associate with our canine friends.


Sample Used Coded Data Comment
eHRAF World CulturesResearchers' ownUsed to code human-dog relationships
Standard Cross Cultural Sample (SCCS)Other researchersUsed to select societies

Documents and Hypotheses Filed By:jacob.kalodner