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Conversations in the field of anthrozoology include treatment and distinction of food animals, animals as workers versus pests, and most recently, emerging pet trends including the practice of pet parenting. This paper explores attitudes toward pet dogs in the shared social space of urban India. The data include 375 pen-and-paper surveys from students at CHRIST (Deemed to be University) in Bangalore, India. Reflecting upon Serpell’s biaxial concept of dogs as a relationship of affect and utility, the paper considers the growing trend of pet dog keeping in urban spaces and the increased use of affiliative words to describe these relationships. The paper also explores potential sex differences in attitudes towards pet and stray dogs. Ultimately, these findings suggest that the presence of and affiliation with pet dogs, with reduced utility and increased affect, is symptomatic of cultural changes typical of societies encountering the second demographic transition. Despite this, sex differences as expected based upon evolutionary principles, remain present, with women more likely to emphasize health and welfare and men more likely to emphasize bravery and risk taking.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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