Perpetua: The UAH Journal of Undergraduate Research


Matthew Poarch


College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences


Communication Arts


Throughout the entire world, one nonhuman animal has been owned more than any other animal. 33% of the world's population owns a pet dog. Nearly 70% the United States consumers own a pet, with the pet dog making up 50% of that number (Petfood Industry, 2016). The number of dog-owners is only increasing; therefore, it is imperative that we continue to investigate the human-dog relationship, which is known as interspecies communication. The present study used a survey to investigate how the parent-child relationship influences the human-dog relationship with a keen focus on communication. Participants were selected through a convenience sample at a public university in the Southeast United States and social media. The participants took a survey to assess their perceptions on their individual perception of their parent-child relationship and their human-dog relationship. The findings found that a correlation did not exist between parent-child and human-dog communications. One can infer that social learning and family communication pattern theory did not influence the way an individual learns to communicate with their pet dog. Furthermore, it should be noted that the study was limited by the sample size, sampling method, types of dogs, age of children, and number of pets in households. Future studies by other researchers will help further our collective understanding of human-dog communications.



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