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Description: Have you heard or did you already know from personal experience that spending time with one or more dog can be of psychological benefit? This is a good example of something that many people believe to be true (and it actually is true) but most people, if you ask them cannot provide a solid theory as to why this might be true or any research explaining just how the “dog effect,’ if there is one, actually works. Well, just in time, here is an article whose title suggests it is going to provide you with some answers. Give it a read and see what you learn.

Source: What are the psychological benefits of spending time with dogs? Lauren Pullen, Global News.

Date: February 19, 2017

Photo Credit:  Global News

Links:  Article Link – http://globalnews.ca/news/3260036/what-are-the-psychological-benefits-of-spending-time-with-dogs/

So, are you better informed now as to the effects of dogs on human psychological well-being? Well beyond the general notion that it probably has to do with hormones and brain and emotion you really haven’t learned anything much at all have you. Think about what you may know about human responses the stress and trauma and about anything you have heard about that may help people dealing with PTSD and related trauma impacts and a few hypotheses may come to mind. If you would like to actually know more have a look at one or two of the “References” listed below and they will give you some more research-based potential explanations or factors.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Does time spent with dogs have positive effects upon human psychological functioning?
  2. If your answer to the above questions was yes how do those effects work?
  3. How might dogs be used as part of peoples’ ongoing therapy when trying to come to terms with and cope with the impact off trauma and or PTSD?

References (Read Further):

Knight, S., & Edwards, V. (2008). In the company of wolves the physical, social, and psychological benefits of Dog ownership. Journal of aging and health, 20(4), 437-455. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sarah_Knight2/publication/5403162_In_the_Company_of_Wolves_The_Physical_Social_and_Psychological_Benefits_of_Dog_Ownership/links/0c960530516cc31488000000.pdf

McCune, S., Kruger, K. A., Griffin, J. A., Esposito, L., Freund, L. S., Hurley, K. J., & Bures, R. (2014). Evolution of research into the mutual benefits of human–animal interaction. Animal Frontiers, 4(3), 49-58. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Katherine_Kruger/publication/269429785_Evolution_of_research_into_the_mutual_benefits_of_human-animal_interaction/links/545c5b040cf2f1dbcbcb21f3.pdf

Campo, R. A., & Uchino, B. N. (2013). Humans’ bonding with their companion dogs: Cardiovascular benefits during and after stress. J. Soc. & Soc. Welfare, 40, 237.

Irvin, S. (2014). The healing role of assistance dogs: What these partnerships tell us about the human-animal bond. Animal frontiers, 4(3), 66-71.

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