A Tail of Two Personalities: How Canine Companions Shape Relationships and Well-Being

11 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2012  

Lisa A. Cavanaugh

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Hillary A. Leonard

University of Rhode Island

Debra L. Scammon

University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

More people own pets than ever before. Further, people spend more money on pets than they ever have. The increase in pet ownership and spending on pets provides evidence of the importance humans place on the pets in their lives. This study explores the relationships between humans and their animal companions, specifically canine companions. Drawing on decades of research on personality, relationships, and wellbeing, the current research takes a cross-species approach to examine the influence of pet personalities on human outcomes. Using personality assessments for human and dog, the article examines how both personalities impact relationship satisfaction. The article also examines how human–dog closeness impacts owner well-being. Some findings corroborate results found in the human personality and relationship literature, but others point to some unique aspects of the human–dog bond. These results not only shed light on the human–dog relationship but also suggest some departures from the human relationship literature that could be explored in future research.

Keywords: pets, personality, relationship satisfaction, well being

Suggested Citation

Cavanaugh, Lisa A. and Leonard, Hillary A. and Scammon, Debra L., A Tail of Two Personalities: How Canine Companions Shape Relationships and Well-Being (2008). Journal of Business Research, Vol. 61, No. 5, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2190205

Lisa A. Cavanaugh (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Hillary A. Leonard

University of Rhode Island ( email )

Quinn Hall
55 Lower College Rd.
Kingston, RI 02881
United States

Debra L. Scammon

University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business ( email )

1645 E Campus Center Dr
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9303
United States

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