Commentary Type

Invited Commentary


I explore how the findings reviewed by Kujala (2017) influence our understanding of the human-dog bond. The special social cognitive abilities of dogs may be unique among animal species, probably influenced by the circumstances surrounding canine domestication. The bond has influenced animal welfare policies, giving dogs a privileged place among animals. To determine what protections other species should have in a rational animal welfare policy, more research is needed on whether other species have similar social cognitive abilities.

Author Biography

Robert Franklin is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Anderson University, South Carolina. His research interests include examining how humans extend empathy to non-human entities, especially dogs, and how empathy for animals influences social policy.