April 13, 2022

Annenberg Petspace Leadership Institute Explores Human-Dog Relationship on National Pet Day

The Wallis Annenberg PetSpace Leadership Institute has released an e-book, aggregating a collection of comprehensive articles centering on the state of human-dog interactions and the future of those studies. The compilation, titled “Our Canine Connection: The History, Benefits and Future of Human-Dog Interactions,” is available as a free download through the international peer-reviewed journal, Frontiers in Veterinary Science.

Several influential researchers in the human-animal interaction field contributed to this publication as part of their participation in the Wallis Annenberg PetSpace Leadership Institute, including Mia Cobb, Alexandra Horowitz, Evan MacLean, Sandra McCune, Cindy Otto, James Serpell and Clive Wynne, among others.

“Our bond with dogs is undeniable. We saw this underscored during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Sandra McCune, Visiting Professor at the University of Lincoln. “From a sharp increase in dog ownership to using working dogs to sniff out the Covid-19 virus, the benefits of the human-dog connection have taken center stage. This compilation is a timely examination of our relationship with dogs and urges further exploration of how we can improve the lives of both humans and canines. Equally important, various authors also encourage researchers to consider ‘both ends of the leash’ regarding studies, dog training and welfare.”

The collection explores the historical origins of the human-dog relationship, the training and selection of working dogs, the positive effects that working and companion dogs have on human health, the welfare of working dogs and ways we can improve research on domestic canine science.

“Furthering our understanding of the human-animal bond is the heart of our mission,” said Gabrielle Amster, Director at Wallis Annenberg PetSpace. “We are proud to support the interdisciplinary convening of some of the best minds on the subject and sponsor the publication of this e-book so that others can benefit from these important collaborations. This collection provides innovative ideas on how both humans and canines can mutually benefit from our unique connection.”

The articles included were published individually between 2020 and 2021 following the second convening of the Wallis Annenberg PetSpace Leadership Institute in early March 2020. The retreat provided an opportunity for interdisciplinary collaboration between well-known and upcoming researchers. The papers in this collection provide a detailed treatment of key topics surrounding canine science discussed by the fellows during this retreat. Sponsored by Wallis Annenberg PetSpace, this anthology aims to contribute to the current standard of understanding of human-animal interaction and suggest future directions in applied research.

Learn more here.



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