More often than not, dogs and owners’ personalities match. Now, we have more than empirical evidence to support this belief. A paper published in the Journal of Research in Personality now confirms that it is no coincidence that dogs and owners behave alike.
An exhaustive study was conducted with 1,681 dogs, inferred that, “There were several instances in which owner and dog personality were correlated. Owners high in extraversion rated their dogs as more active or excitable, but extraversion was largely unrelated to the other dog personality dimensions after the remaining four owner personality dimensions were controlled for,” the paper says.
Like Master, Like Canine
Owners who were high in agreeableness and open mindedness said that their dogs are less fearful and less aggressive towards people and animals. Dogs of highly conscientiousness people, were more responsive to training. At the same time, owners who had high negative emotions said that their dogs are easily scared and have a behavioural history.
The Personality contagion
The paper also tried to answer why humans and their dogs share similar personalities. The first reason could be the selection effect where owners might select dogs that match their personalities and lifestyles in a similar way that humans purportedly choose friends and partners.
The second is the socialization effect. The shared activities and environments of humans and dogs might jointly influence their personalities as in relationships between humans. “Extraverted owners might bring their dogs to social events, which may in turn socialize them to humans (and make them less aggressive). Likewise, there is a degree of emotional and personality contagion among humans who share similar social environments, further suggesting that shared environments might contribute to a correlation between owners and their dogs,” the paper says.
The third reason is that owners tend to evaluate things as per their own idiosyncrasies, where they project their personality onto their dogs. But is that a good thing? That depends on the owner more than the dog!
We are a bunch of hardcore news junkies who also happen to be pet parents. Our world revolves around our kids and that’s how we know!