Dog-Human Relationships

Dr. Andrea Breen is the Director of the FIDO Lab at the University of Guelph. FIDO focuses on human-animal connection, emphasizing kin networks which include both dogs and humans. The lab has four primary goals:

  1. To take dogs seriously as sentient, agentic beings who meaningfully contribute to family life
  2. To challenge anthropocentrism by striving to take the experiences of dogs in human-dog interactions just as seriously as those of humans
  3. To contribute to methodological advancement in multispecies research in ways which make non-human animals more present in social science research
  4. To explore the potential of engagement with arts-based, posthumanist, and postqualitative methods for improving dog-human relationships

The main project of the FIDO lab currently is Family Care Work in Interspecies Homes, a SSHRC-funded study which examines reciprocal care practices in dog-human relationships.

Indigenist Research Methods

Andrea’s work includes a focus on Indigenist research methodologies. Along with Shawn Wilson and Lindsay DuPré, she is co-editor of the (2019) book, Research and Reconciliation: Unsettling Ways of Knowing through Indigenous Relationships and they are currently at work co-authoring a new book on visiting as Indigenist methodology.

Storytelling and Narrative Identity

Andrea’s early research was focused on storytelling, identity and well-being. Her research has examined the ways in which identity develops through interaction with stories encountered in books, movies, and other forms of art and media. She is especially interested in story-sharing and identity development as resistance to oppression and structural violence. Her graduate students’ recent research projects have examined narrative identity development, marginalization, and resistance in Muslim and African- Caribbean- and Black-identified young adults. Andrea is currently the Principal Investigator for a 1-year research project focused on developing more inclusive methods in narrative research (funded by the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences Growth Fund).

Family Relationships and Well-Being

Andrea was Principal Investigator for the collaborative SSHRC-funded project, Young Carers Coming of Age: Transitions in the Context of the Caregiving Relationship and the Caregiving during COVID-19 study that concluded in May 2022. Her recent collaborations with colleagues in Applied Human Nutrition have focused on investigating family relationships and children’s nutritional health.