The Human-Dog Bond – Do They Really Experience The Secure Base Effect?

Human-Dog bonding is the two way street between a human and their dog. It’s a relationship that is dynamic and mutual as both the human and the dog rely on each other.

Personally, having my dog around has been amazing, and I know a lot of you think the same way about your furry friend. They look up to you like a parent, and they seem that they are just content to just have you around. That’s one reason dogs are man’s best friend!

I recently read about a study about the bond between dogs and humans. This study was done to determine if dogs experienced the same bond, “the secure-base effect”, with their owners as children do with their parents.

The study tested to see if they could determine the same connection with a dog and their owner.

What is the “Secure Base Effect”?

The “secure base effect” is the bond between a child and their parent when they are trying to understand the world around them.

In the study they tested a few things.

1. First they put a dog in the room to play with a stranger. The dog would play more with the stranger if their owner was present.

2. If the dog was left alone in that room, they would stare at the chair, scratch at the door, and jump on it trying to get to to their owner.. When the owner finally came back into the room, the dog would great them longer and more energetically than if a stranger walked through the door.

3. If a dog was left alone in the room with the chair and articles of clothing from their owners, and another chair and some clothes from a stranger. The dog would sit or lay closer to their owners belongings.

The conclusion of the study with the evidence that this bond indeed exists between humans and dogs.

Here are a couple more examples of this.

A man died on the side of the road in Oklahoma City. His dog never left his side even after the heat turned up to 100-degrees. The dog was dehydrated and tired. The dog could of went and got water from the nearby river, but it decided to stay by it side with his owner.

Here’s another example. A 67 year old man in the UK was stranded for 7 hours.  His loyal companion refused to leave his side. The temperature got so cold and with the lack of food the man lost consciousness. Still, the dog never gave up on him and stuck with him until help came.

With the two examples and the study, it definitely proves that dogs and humans have some type of powerful bond.

Let the debate continue! Let me know in the comments! What do you think? Do dogs have the same bond with their owners as children have with their kids?

Image Credits:


medical daily – “Dogs Become Attached to Their Owners In Much The Same Way As Infants To Their Care Givers”

Daily News – article “Faithful Oklahoma dog endures 100-degree temperatures, heat exhaustion to stay by owner’s side”

Global News – article “ Loyal dog stays by owner’s side for 7 hours after he gets stranded in forest”

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