Research Topic

Our Canine Connection: The History, Benefits and Future of Human-Dog Interactions

About this Research Topic

During two retreats in 2017 and 2020, a group of international scientists convened to explore the Human-Animal Bond. The meetings, hosted by the Wallis Annenberg PetSpace Leadership Institute, took a broad view of the human-dog relationship and how interactions between the two may benefit us medically, ...

During two retreats in 2017 and 2020, a group of international scientists convened to explore the Human-Animal Bond. The meetings, hosted by the Wallis Annenberg PetSpace Leadership Institute, took a broad view of the human-dog relationship and how interactions between the two may benefit us medically, psychologically or through their service as working dogs (e.g. guide dogs, explosive detection, search and rescue, cancer detection). This proposal for a Frontiers’ Special Topic has collated the presentations into a broad collection of 14 theoretical and review papers summarizing the latest research and practice in the historical development of our deepening bond with dogs, the physiological and psychological changes that occur during human-dog interactions (to both humans and dogs) as well as the selection, training and welfare of companion animals and working dogs. Several of the papers are written by best-selling authors ensuring this Research Topic will reach a wide audience.

The overarching goals of this collection are to contribute to the current standard of understanding of human-animal interaction, suggest future directions in applied research, and to consider the interdisciplinary societal implications of the findings.

Reviews, original research and opinion articles are welcomed on the following themes:
• Foundations of the modern dog and its relationship with people
• Benefits of the human bond with dogs as a companion and therapeutic animal
• Selection, training and welfare of working dogs
• Impact of dog ownership and interaction on child development
• Future directions of research and best practice that optimize benefits to health and efficacy of treatments to people while ensuring optimal canine performance and welfare.

Dr. Sandra McCune is a paid consultant for the Wallis Annenberg Foundation and Evan MacLean is member of the scientific advisory board at Companion, a start-up company working on technology and automation around dog training.


Keywords: human-animal bond, working dogs, support dogs, canine


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

20 December 2020 Manuscript
31 January 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

20 December 2020 Manuscript
31 January 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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