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Like Human, Like Pup?

There are many jokes out there about our pets looking like us - there are even models and celebrities who try to make their pets look like them! So while we know looking similar to your dog is possible, what about sharing personality traits? New studies suggest that dogs and owners tend to share more personality traits than we think. 

The study was done by social psychologist William J. Chopik, from Michigan State University. He performed this study by analyzing over 1,600 dogs and their owners. In each case, Chopik had owners complete a questionnaire that asked them to describe both themselves and their dog(s). 

The only obstacle in the study is that the information about the dogs was provided by their owner, which has the possibility to skew the answers. However, Chopik points out that other studies show that friends or acquaintances of dogs tend to make the same personality observations about them as their owner does. 

With that in mind, Chopik concluded that there was an obviously correlation between the personality traits of owners and the personalty traits of their dogs. The most extreme examples were of very extroverted, excitable humans who had very extroverted, excitable dogs as well as high-anxiety humans who had high-anxiety dogs.

So, what is to suggest for this? As humans, we are often drawn to people or pets that we feel we can relate to, so this might be the case for those who adopt shelter dogs with obvious personalities. However, that doesn't explain those who pick their puppy when they're young, as this puppy's personality hasn't developed yet. 

Chopik also suggests the obvious: dogs can pick up on our emotions. We know this, since our dogs often comfort us when sad. Because of this, dogs might pick up on our permanent personality traits as well, like anxiety. If we're anxious about certain situations, our dogs might sense it and begin to anxious as well. In the same sense, if we're always excited to see them or excited to go for a walk, they will probably mimic this behavior and show their excitement when they expect ours. 

You can read more about the study here. No matter what, as long as your dog is happy, it doesn't matter if they're your personality-twin or your exact opposite!

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Jenna Gomes

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Jenna Gomes