"If your dog displays attention-seeking behaviour, you may have a better bond with it than owners with perfectly-mannered pooches," the study says.

"The more dogs act out and try to catch their owners' attention, the more their owners are likely to love them," said study author Christy Hoffman from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York.

The research looked at human-animal attachment among 60 dog-owning families, including parents and children. According to Hoffman, people who care for their dogs well and take more responsibility for them are more attached to their pets than those who have a more hands-off approach.

Interestingly, children were not affected by this behaviour. "Children's attitudes and levels of attachment toward their pets remained high even when dogs showed low levels of attention-seeking behaviour," Hoffman emphasised.

Adults tend to be more selective than children in types of dogs with which they bond owing to work-related and parental responsibilities that already demand their attention."Thus, adults may only form emotional attachments with dogs that seek out their attention," Hoffman explained.


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