Extensive research on the human mother-child relationship has led to the investigation of how relationships between dogs (Canis lupus var. familiaris) and humans compare. Studies suggest that dogs share a strong affectional bond with their owners and if put under stressful situations, exhibit key characteristics of attachment also observed in human babies. The goal of this review is to assess a variety of studies that explore different ways of measuring attachment between dogs and humans, beginning with a discussion of the Ainsworth Strange Situation Test (SST). The SST provides a foundation for the first studies that introduced attachment to the canine science field. It also aids in linking numerous attachment studies that look into different factors like the ages and physiology of the dogs, varying degrees of familiar people interacting with the dogs, owner-reported attitudes and behaviors, and the connection to wolves’ attachments with humans. I propose ways in which this particular scientific field can be enhanced and place a heavy emphasis on the implications of studying attachment particularly in shelter dogs. Synthesis and evaluation of the significant research on dog-human connections will not only lead to ways of fostering better relationships between owners and their dogs, but also allows us to better appreciate the special bond we have with dogs that lets us learn more every day.
Keywords: dog, attachment, human-animal interaction, animal shelter, dog behavior, preference