A Dog's Life

Posted: Sep 01 2010

Just what constitutes a dog's life? Sociologist, David Blouin of Indiana University, recently conducted a study to find out. Blouin says that relationships between dogs and owners generally fall into three categories: humanist, protectionist and dominionist. 

According to Professor Blouin, in the humanist relationship, dogs are treated like close companions or family members. They are highly valued and possibly pampered. The protectionist relationship is one in which owners value animals in general. In this category, owners might be vegetarian or vegan and see themselves as benevolent overseers. In the third category, dominionist, owners have a more utilitarian relationship with dogs. In this category, owners might have hunting or other types of working dogs and rarely view dogs as members of the family.

Blouin found that these distinct orientations toward dogs and animals in general are informed by multiple, cultural influences including personal experience, family structure and demographic characteristics. 


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