Despite the dog’s long mutualistic association with humans, global attitudes toward the species, Canis familiaris, are exceedingly diverse, ranging from overwhelmingly positive in most Western countries to predominantly negative in many developing nations. Since attitudes are important predictors of dog-related behavior, knowledge of the forces and factors that affect people’s attitudes to dogs can make an important contribution to improving dog-human relations, global public health, and canine welfare. This chapter explores some of the key factors influencing dog-related attitudes and behavior, with particular reference to the results of a case study of attitudes to dogs in Taiwan. The findings suggest that people’s attitudes to dogs involve both affective/emotional and instrumental/practical components, and that a significant minority of people in Taiwan are opposed to the killing/euthanasia of unwanted dogs. The most important determinant of both positive affective attitudes to dogs and opposition to killing/euthanasia was the experience of growing up with household dogs. The significance of these and other findings are discussed from the perspective of animal attitude development, and dog welfare and population management.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)