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    Barking Up the Wrong Tree: A Qualitative Study of the Potential for Dog-Owner Technology

    HCI 2018

    Proceedings of the 32nd International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2018)

    Belfast, UK, 4 - 6 July 2018


    Lynne Hall, Sharon McDonald & Shell Young



    Current approaches to dog technology are predominantly aimed at owners monitoring and remotely engaging their dogs to prevent boredom when they are left home alone. The potential of technology to enhance the collocated dog-human experience has received little attention. This paper discusses a qualitative study with 10 owners and their dogs, exploring how technology could be used to enhance dog-human interaction in the home. Results highlight that dog toys are actually targeted at play involving both dog and owner; that playful interactions between dogs and owners focus on increasing bonding and affective symbiosis; and that the play isn’t the point for neither dog nor human, the relationship is. The study concludes that dog-human technology for collocated enjoyable interaction will be significantly different than that used in remote human-dog interaction and requires further work.


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