Dog owners have long touted the benefits of owning man’s best friend, but a new study provides information on the dog’s half of the equation, suggesting that dogs bond with their human owners similar to how a baby bonds with its parents.
The secure base effect is when babies use their parents as a sort of home base when interacting with new things and people. It is a form of security and impacts the baby’s daily life and scoring on cognitive tests, CBS News explains. Previous studies have shown that when a dog is distressed it looks for its owner, so the study’s authors wanted to examine this effect more closely.
To test the secure base effect, the scientists conducted experiments with 20 adult dogs in three different scenarios: 1) with their owner in the room encouraging them to play with a toy 2) their owner silent in the room and 3) the dog alone in the room.