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Young dog owners cope well when their pups misbehave

A recent study published in the CABI journal Human-Animal Interactions reveals that young dog owners tend to cope well when their dogs misbehave. This is despite previous research suggesting that up to 90 percent of dogs display undesired behaviors such as aggression and disobedience. 

However, little is known about the impact of this on young people’s experiences and emotions. To shed light on this issue, a team of scientists from Brock University, Ontario, Canada, interviewed young dog owners aged 17 to 26 years to determine their experiences with their pets and their coping strategies in response to bad behavior.

The study focused on undesired behaviors such as occasional and persistent barking and, in extreme cases, being aggressive towards other dogs and people. 

Renata Roma of Brock University and her colleagues found that young people prefer proactive coping styles when dealing with their dogs’ undesired behavior. 

The researchers also discovered that the severity of their dogs’ behavioral issues was associated with the strength of their emotions in response, with more severe behavioral issues eliciting more intense emotions.

The experts argue that increasing our understanding of coping mechanisms in response to pets’ perceived misbehavior is important for several reasons. One of which is to explore how young people handle stressful situations with their dogs and whether any coping styles adopted by young people can decrease the likelihood of experiencing continued stress in their interactions with their dogs.

The study also revealed that young people varied in their emotional reactions and perceptions about the severity of their dog’s behavioral issues. While most dog owners indicated moderate discomfort with their dog’s behavioral issues, only one highlighted severe discomfort. This participant had a dog that exhibited severe behavioral issues, including persistent aggressive behavior.

The researchers noted that future studies could explore whether the amount of time living with a dog influences young people’s ability to handle challenging situations with their dogs. “It is possible that none of the participants in this study revealed severe discomfort with their dog’s behavioral issues because they learned new strategies over time.”

Overall, the study addresses the gap in the literature by examining links and similarities between young people’s coping styles towards their dogs and towards people emotionally close to them. 

The experts suggest that their findings could be used to develop interventions aimed at improving young people’s coping strategies for managing their dogs’ undesired behavior.

Dogs have been man’s best friend for thousands of years, but they are more than just loyal companions. Studies have shown that dogs can have a positive impact on the lives of young adults in a variety of ways, from improving mental health to promoting social interaction and physical activity. In this article, we will explore the science behind the positive impact dogs have on young adults.

Mental Health

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five adults in the United States experience mental illness each year. Young adults, in particular, are vulnerable to mental health issues, with one in three college students experiencing symptoms of depression. However, research has shown that owning a dog can help improve mental health and reduce stress levels.

A study published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management found that employees who brought their dogs to work reported lower stress levels throughout the day than those who did not. Another study conducted by the University of Missouri-Columbia found that interacting with a dog can increase levels of oxytocin, a hormone that helps regulate stress and anxiety.

In addition, owning a dog can provide a sense of purpose and meaning, which can be especially important for young adults who may be struggling to find their place in the world. Caring for a pet can provide a sense of responsibility and accomplishment, which can improve self-esteem and overall well-being.

Social Interaction

Young adulthood is a time of transition, with many individuals leaving the safety and familiarity of their family homes to pursue education or employment opportunities. This can be a lonely and isolating experience, but dogs can provide a source of social interaction and connection.

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Liverpool found that dog owners were more likely to engage in social activities and have a stronger social network than non-dog owners. In addition, dogs can serve as a conversation starter, making it easier for young adults to meet new people and form connections.

Physical Activity

Physical activity is important for maintaining overall health and well-being, but many young adults struggle to find the motivation to exercise regularly. However, owning a dog can provide a powerful incentive to get moving.

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia found that dog owners were more likely to engage in regular physical activity than non-dog owners. In addition, dogs provide a source of accountability, as they need to be walked and exercised regularly.

In conclusion, dogs can have a powerful impact on the lives of young adults. From improving mental health to promoting social interaction and physical activity, dogs can provide a source of comfort, companionship, and motivation during a time of transition and change. If you are a young adult considering getting a dog, be sure to do your research and choose a breed and temperament that is compatible with your lifestyle and needs. With the right care and attention, a dog can be a valuable and rewarding addition to your life.


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