Five survey instruments were used to evaluate owner personality and psychological status, training methods, and dog behavior/temperament:
We elected to use the TIPI and BDI because they are relatively brief, validated questionnaires with established psychometric credentials that are widely used to assess personality and depression/mood disorder, respectively. In studies of dog owners, the personality and emotional traits they measure have also been shown to be associated with canine behavior problems [8–11]. The decision to include the ERQ in the study was largely exploratory. People’s scores on the reappraisal and suppression scales of the ERQ have been shown to correlate with how well they function in social relationships . It was therefore of interest to determine whether this might also apply to relationships with dogs. The C-BARQ is a widely-used and validated measure of behavior/behavior problems in dogs [34, 35]. The ‘mini’ version has been validated for use in shelter dogs  and was used in the current study due to its significantly smaller size (42 vs. 100 items) and the need to reduce the burden of questionnaire items on study participants. The ATT has not been previously tested for reliability and validity.
The survey instruments were posted in an easy-to-use online format as a unit on Vanderbilt University’s REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) platform. REDCap is a browser-based, metadata-driven EDC (electronic data capture) software solution and workflow methodology for designing clinical and translational research databases. REDCap was developed with the support of the NCRR and NIH and is utilized by more than 2,375 institutions in over 110 countries for academic research.
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